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The Human Cost of ComEd Corruption: Lives and Limbs

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 by Romanucci & Blandin

Zulauf family says ComEd needs to be accountable for their family’s tragedy

CHICAGO (July 20, 2020)— Romanucci & Blandin, LLC and Wise Morrissey together call for a full audit of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and its relationship with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) along with ComEd’s maintenance records of nearly one million electrical poles across Illinois. These personal injury firms call for this accountability because their clients were killed or permanently injured because of a faulty ComEd electrical pole that was not properly maintained and caused a catastrophic electrocution of two innocent individuals who were trying to work and earn an honest living.

On Friday, July 17, 2020 U.S. Attorneys announced that ComEd agreed to pay $200 million dollars following a federal investigation into bribery of Illinois high level government officials.  Today, members of the Zulauf family want answers about how ComEd’s corrupt practices may have contributed to the death of 32-year-old Robert Zulauf and the severe injury to his nephew 23-year-old Jordan Zulauf. The two were working on a ComEd pole in Sterling, Illinois on November 8, 2016 when they were electrocuted. The line was not properly insulated. Robert Zulauf was burned so badly he lost his life. Jordan lost both of his arms.

ComEd’s history of corruption and self-serving conduct has manifested itself in willful violation of the Public Utilities Act, as maintenance of thousands of electrical poles across the state has been ignored. The ICC, which has a mandate to oversee ComEd, has admittedly failed in its duty to ensure safety. 

“We are calling on ComEd to come clean on its behavior, where for decades it has not lived up to its responsibility to provide the safe transmission of power to the people of our state. This includes providing a safe environment for all those who work with electrical lines and poles,” said attorney Stephan Blandin, representing Jeanette Zulauf and the Robert Zulauf estate. “The ComEd slogan of ‘powering lives’ is a joke, as they have only been concerned with profits and not people for far too long.”

“The way ComEd has willfully ignored the maintenance of its nearly one million poles was simply a tragedy waiting to happen,” said attorney Bob Bingle, who represents Jordan Zulauf. “We demand that the ICC meets its obligation to properly oversee ComEd so that it does not abuse its virtual monopoly in a large portion of Illinois.”

“For a long time, I told myself maybe this was a horrible accident, but I was shocked and incredibly upset to hear about this week’s bribery investigation and $200 million settlement. I feel like I’m suffocating with emotion and ComEd needs to be accountable for what has happened to our family. This was no accident and could have been prevented,” said Jeanette Zulauf, whose husband Robert died.

The Zulauf family has filed a civil complaint against ComEd. The utility has repeatedly chosen to use its money to bribe its regulators rather than correct its code violations. ComEd needs to come clean with the Zulauf family and with the residents of Illinois, who gave it a state-sponsored monopoly with guaranteed billions of dollars in profits. 

The law firms encourage those interested in the call for accountability share the Zulaufs’ story on social media with #ComeCleanComEd.

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Romanucci & Blandin is a national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions. The attorneys’ steadfast commitment to fighting for those seeking justice around the country has helped the firm obtain multiple verdicts and settlements in the millions of dollars. The Chicago-based personal injury lawyers are dedicated to providing victims who suffered injury as a result of another’s wrongdoing full and fair compensation in a diligent, professional, skilled and caring manner. The lawyers actively support their communities and provide advocacy at the national, state and local levels on issues that support the U.S. tort system. Founded in 1998, Romanucci & Blandin is widely recognized for representing plaintiffs in numerous practice areas including: personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, pharmaceutical, mass torts, civil rights, police misconduct, excessive force, aviation, product liability and premises liability.  For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit www.rblaw.net or call (312) 458-1000. 

About Wise Morrissey

Wise Morrissey is committed to helping our clients secure just compensation when they or a family member have been wrongfully or negligently harmed by medical care, a product or an accident. We take pride in handling each case to meet the unique needs of our clients and the unique circumstances of their injury and loss. For nearly 20 years our lawyers have represented victims in all areas of wrongful death and negligence tort liability ranging from work place accidents, to medical malpractice and from aviation to trucking and transportation negligence. Our lawyers have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and our firm is regularly recognized as one of the top firms in Chicago. For more information about Wise Morrissey, please visit our website at www.wisemorrissey.com or call 312-580-2040

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