PSE responds to wrongful death suit of Bonney Lake teen

In Aug. 2014, Bonney Lake High School student Madeline Roskie, 18, was inner-tubing with her boyfriend when she suddenly fell unconscious in the Puyallup River. East Pierce Fire and Rescue pronounced her dead at the scene when they arrived. Puget Sound Energy has responded to the wrongful death suit filed last August.

Puget Sound Energy has responded to a wrongful death suit filed against the company for the death of a Bonney Lake teenager.

In Aug. 2014, Bonney Lake High School student Madeline Roskie, 18, was inner-tubing with her boyfriend when she suddenly fell unconscious in the Puyallup River. East Pierce Fire and Rescue pronounced her dead at the scene when they arrived.

The wrongful death suit, filed by her father Earl Roskie on Aug. 1, 2017, alleges PSE and four unknown people were negligent in maintaining a nearby irrigation pump, where technicians found a 280V to ground issue, which led to Roskie’s death.

PSE’s response was filed with the Pierce County Superior Court on Oct. 6, and asks the court to dismiss the case.

The company argues the case should be dismissed because Roskie’s death, as shown on her official death certificate, “is not ‘electrocution’ or anything remotely similar. It is ‘undetermined,’” the response reads. “The death certificate indicates that an autopsy was performed and that the findings were available to complete the cause of death determination…. Still, the cause of death was not something that could be determined.”

PSE points to RCW 70.58.180, which states the cause of death, as noted by a professional and written on a death certificate “shall be the legally accepted cause of death.”

“The language used in (Roskie’s) death certificate must be applied as written, and cannot be contested after the fact by Plaintiff in this wrongful death action,” PSE’s response reads. “And because the cause of death has been conclusively been deemed to be ‘undetermined,’ no liability could attach to Defendant PSE. Plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed accordingly.”

While Roskie’s death certificate does state her cause of death as undetermined, East Pierce and the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office discussed whether electrocution could have been a factor during the investigation after her death.

In Earl Roskie’s original complaint, Roskie complained of her legs going numb before falling unconscious, and her boyfriend also experience a “tingling sensation in his fingers.”

In an Aug. 25, 2014 email conversation between East Pierce Assistant Chief Russ McCallion and Matt Lacy, a former associate medical examiner for Pierce County, Lacy wrote Roskie’s autopsy results were “inconclusive as to an anatomic cause of death… I would not expect an electrocution that involved a diffuse contact, such as through water, to leave any physical signature on the body. Based on your email, I am very concerned that an electrical hazard in or near the water at that location may have caused this girl’s death.”

A few days later, Assistant Chief Ed Goodlet updated Lacy, saying a technician did find a 280V to ground issue at the pump, and “this is a bit more significant that what I was told before as being less than an electric fence, but he has no idea how much voltage could be going into the river nor how much of the river could be impacted.”

Goodlet announced to the department that all issues were fixed Aug. 28, 2014.

The hearing on PSE’s motion to dismiss the case is scheduled to be heard Dec. 8.

PSE's motion to dimiss lawsuit by Ray Still on Scribd

More in News

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Former Plateau resident lands role with Marvel T.V. series

McKay Stewart, who spent much of his childhood in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, will be joining the Marvel universe in a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airing Friday, Jan. 19.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Man shot in Burnett; suspect turns himself in

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was driven to the Burnett Store in order to report he was shot by his brother. The suspect turned himself in approximately three hours later.

Garbage, water, sewer rates increase in Enumclaw

Having made the leap into a new year, Enumclaw property owners are now seeing increases to nearly all their utility rates. Here’s a look at the 2018 increases for city services, along with the financial impact on customers.

Most Read