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Eubank v. Kansas City Power & Light Co., No. 09-2038

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By FindLaw Staff on November 29, 2010 4:12 PM

Wrongful Death Action Against Power Company

In Eubank v. Kansas City Power & Light Co., No. 09-2038, a wrongful death action against Kansas City Power and Light Company (KCPL), the company that supplied electricity to a U.S. General Services Administration facility where the decedent was killed, the court affirmed the dismissal of KCPL's third-party complaint, holding that the U.S. had not assumed a duty to KCPL to protect government employees from hazardous electrical equipment simply by choosing KCPL as an electrical provider.

As the court wrote:  "David Eubank, the husband of appellee Kembra Eubank, died as a result of an electrical burn he sustained while working for the United States General Services Administration ("GSA"). Kembra Eubank, individually and on behalf of her two minor children, filed suit in Missouri state court against Kansas City Power and Light Company ("KCP&L"), the company that supplied electricity to the GSA facility where David Eubank was injured. KCP&L then filed a third-party petition seeking indemnity and contribution from David Eubank's GSA supervisors. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d)(2), the United States was substituted as the third-party defendant in place of the GSA supervisors, and the case was removed to federal court. The district court determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the third-party petition, because the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680, did not waive the government's sovereign immunity in this case. The district court dismissed the third-party petition and remanded the Eubanks' claim against KCP&L to state court. We affirm."

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