Kansas City
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KCP&L Pays $12 Million to Settle Burn Injury Case
Joe Lambe
The Kansas City Star

A Kansas City woman who suffered severe burns and lost her arm and leg from a downed power line settled her lawsuit Friday for $12 million.

Melanie Monroe, 35, grinned weakly from her wheelchair as she left a Jackson County courtroom after Kansas City Power & Light Co., its parent company, Great Plains Energy, Inc., and parts supplier Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. paid the settlement.

"It was a godsend," Monroe said of the settlement. "But I'd give it all back if I could have my arm and leg back."

Monroe was injured Feb. 2, 2002. Monroe and her family were loading laundry into her car when a power line snapped and fell on Monroe, her husband and her two children.

The line burned Monroe over half her body, and doctors had to amputate her right arm and leg to save her life. The other family members suffered electrical shocks, but not as severely.

On Friday, the three companies paid the settlement --- $11.5 million to Melanie Monroe, $400,00 to her husband and $50,000 to each of her two children, ages 10 and 3.

The Circuit Court lawsuit contended that the line fell because KCP&L improperly secured it with a clamp intended for temporary repairs. The company contended the line fell because the connection had been weakened by an ice storm.

The companies assumed no liability in the settlement. KCP&L and Great Plains spokesman Tom Robinson said the companies played no role in the unfortunate event.

The attorney for Hubbell Power Systems of Centralia, MO., declined to comment.

Anita Porte Robb, attorney for the Monroe family, praised the companies for a quick settlement that she said gives her client a future.

Before the accident, Monroe worked in data entry for a bank. Her burns were so serious that she has not been able to use prosthetic limbs, Robb said. Robb praised her client for her "very strong spirit."

"She hopes to walk again with a prosthetic leg," Robb said.

Officially, a Missouri Public Service Commission report lists Monroe as the only person who suffered electrical injuries as a result of the massive 2002 ice storm.

Last Christmas Eve, Monroe's injuries prompted hundreds of strangers to build a 500-square-feet bedroom addition that was accessible to her wheelchair. The home's hallways were widened so she could tuck her 3-year-old son into bed.

In December, Monroe cried for joy at the volunteers' generosity and in sadness for what she had been through --- months of operations, therapies and pain.

What helped her through it was her son's kisses and her daughter's attention and love, Monroe said then. On Friday, they were with her in court.

Monroe's children are her best therapy, Robb said. "They give her constant love."

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Personal Injury Lawyers - Kansas City, Missouri

Personal injury is an area of law that pertains to the injury of an individual. Both physical and emotional injuries fall into this branch of tort law. A personal injury lawyer is generally involved in cases where an injury has occurred due to the negligence of another party.

Examples of cases that a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri can assist with include workplace accidents, falling or other accidents in the home, premises liability, defective and hazardous product cases, and dental and medical malpractice cases. If negligence on behalf of another party can be proved in court, compensation may be awarded.

Personal injury attorneys can also assist with industrial disease cases that may include respiratory diseases or a decline in health due to hazardous occupational conditions. These and other medical cases are often very complex, and it is advised that all aspects of the claim be handled by an experienced attorney.

Wrongful Death Lawyers - Kansas City, Missouri

Wrongful death falls under the common law jurisdictions wherein a person may be held liable for a death. It is important to note that wrongful death is the only course of legal action in which a company, rather than an individual, is at fault for a death.

In Kansas City, Missouri, cases involving wrongful death accidents require a preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof. Generally, the suit is filed by close relatives.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Robb & Robb LLC One Kansas City Place, Suite 3900 - 1200 Main Street , Kansas City , Missouri 64105

Telephone: 816-474-8080 Facsimile: 816-474-8081 Toll-Free: 1-800-474-1339