R&B Cases & Concepts: ComEd – Human Cost of Corruption

In this episode of “Cases and Concepts”, Romanucci & Blandin founding partner Stephan Blandin shares the heartbreaking story of a family whose lives were forever changed when a faulty Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) electrical pole that was not properly maintained caused a catastrophic electrocution of two innocent individuals who were trying to work and earn an honest living. In 2016, 32-year-old Robert Zulauf and his nephew 23-year-old Jordan Zulauf were working on a ComEd pole in Sterling, Illinois when they were electrocuted. Robert was burned so badly he lost his life, and Jordan lost both of his arms. For years, our firm has been fighting to find out why state regulators didn’t investigate this deadly electrocution by a ComEd wire that had been out of code for decades. Blandin, who represents Robert’s estate and his wife, is now 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. Furthermore, Blandin is calling for an official audit of ComEd’s relationship with the Illiniois Commerce Commission and of safety and inspection records for thousands of ComEd poles across Illinois. 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 – in this case for over 48 years. Furthermore, ComEd’s agreement to pay $200 million dollars following a federal investigation into bribery of Illinois high level government officials begs more questions about how ComEd’s corrupt practices may have contributed to this family’s tragedy.

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