Portsmouth man shocked during storm sues power company

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – This summer, WAVY News talked to Tony Myrick, a man who said he was on Leckie Street in Portsmouth’s Park View community one rainy day in June, when he cleared what he thought was debris from his girlfriend’s car.

“I didn’t know it was a power line. I thought it was like a tree branch or something,” he said.

He said the shock nearly killed him and he had to have part of his arm amputated. Attorney John Cooper said Myrick has a lifetime of pain and treatment ahead of him.

“Horrendous injuries, but obviously the worst of which is loss of part of his arm right about here at the elbow, and so he’s going to need to have prosthetics and deal with that loss of a hand for the rest of his life,” Cooper said.

On Tuesday, Myrick’s attorneys filed a lawsuit for $25 million against Dominion Energy and the John Lucas Tree Expert Company, claiming negligence

“What were saying, it’s essentially an improper pruning case. Dominion has an obligation to keep their transmission lines safe and not falling around on the ground for people to come in contact with. and so, they had an obligation, which is theirs no matter what, but they also hire out this other company to come prune and inspect the trees, and we think they failed to do that properly,” Cooper said.

Cooper provided a copy of a work order he said is from the city of Portsmouth. It’s dated a month before Myrick was shocked and indicates other trees on the street were entangled in power lines.

WAVY News asked the City of Portsmouth if staff could share anything about the work order and the outcome of it, but did not hear back yet.

WAVY News left a message with the John Lucas Tree Expert Company. An insurance adjuster for the company said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for Dominion Energy called it a “tragic accident that occurred during a severe storm” and added, “Our hearts go out to Mr. Myrick and we’re glad he’s doing better.”