Safety Culture in the News

Safety Culture in the News

Family of SCE contractor, of Redlands, sue utility alleging wrongful death…

LOS ANGELES — The widow and two minor children of a 34-year-old Southern California Edison Co. contract worker are suing the utility, alleging negligence on the part of the utility caused the man’s 2020 electrocution death.

Stephanie Wickstrom, who was married to lineman Eric Wickstrom of Redlands, brought the complaint Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of herself and her twin sons against the Rosemead-based company, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“SCE understood and knew that due to its flawed and dangerous safety culture, unsafe acts will occur and accidents and serious injuries will happen when third-party contractors were working on its facilities,” the suit states. “There had been a number of injuries and/or deaths caused by SCE’s flawed safety culture, including at least three injuries in 2018 and one death in 2018.”

An SCE representative could not be immediately reached.

In 2020, SCE had a contract with Wickstrom’s employer, Diversified Utility Services Inc., to maintain and repair distribution lines, the suit states. Wickstrom and other Diversified workers assisted SCE’s repair crews by doing emergency repair work on poles damaged by vehicles, the suit states.