Superstorm Sandy: One year later, Gasia Thomas permanently disabled after touching downed power line

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland girl who touched a downed power line following Superstorm Sandy last year is permanently disabled. That's according to the family's attorney, Michael Becker.

"It's devastating because when I went to visit her she looked nothing like herself," said Nicole Hart, a former neighbor of Gasia Thomas, the victim.

Thomas was walking home from school on Nov. 1 in the area of E. 130 th and Iroquois when she got shocked by the downed power line. Hart said the line was thin and hidden in the grass.

"You couldn't see it," she added. "It wasn't live on the ground where you could see sparks."

Thomas spent several months in the hospital and has physical disabilities that cause her to use a wheelchair.

Thomas' family is suing three power companies – First Energy, CEI, Cleveland Public Power – as well as the City of Cleveland over the incident.

In a statement, Becker said: "The lawsuit is still in the discovery stage. Multiple depositions are set in  November."

Hart said the family has since moved to a wheelchair-accessible house in the Cleveland-area.

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