IEC to Pay NIS 170,000 to Parents of Boy Killed on Electric Pole

Eight-year-old Yochai Gabai was electrocuted in May 1997 after climbing six-meter electric pole in Hertzliya.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court ruled Monday that the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) will pay NIS 170,000 in damages to the family of an eight-year-old boy who climbed six meters up an electrical pole, where he touched the lines and was electrocuted.

The court ordered the IEC to also pay a fine of NIS 1,000.

In May 1997, eight-year-old Yochai Gabai climbed six meters up an electrical pole in Hertzliya, where he touched the lines and was electrocuted. He was left hanging on the pole.

When his mother realized what has happened, she climbed up after him to take him down, and the two of them fell to the ground. The boy died as a result of the electrocution, and his mother suffered serious bruises and burns.

In May of 2005, the court convicted the IEC of negligent manslaughter. Since the incident, the company has taken to protecting electric poles and putting up signs warning of the danger of the electric lines.

At the time, the court criticized the IEC harshly, accepting the prosecution's argument that the IEC should have taken special measures to prevent such accidents, since the electrical pole was situated in a residential neighborhood where children are about.

At Monday's ruling, the court wrote that the corporation recognizes its ethical commitment to the family, and the compensation to the family through a compromised deal is just act.

The court wrote in its ruling that, "there is no atonement for the death of a young boy caused by negligence," maintaining however that if the trial and its conclusion was successful in moving the IEC and local municipalities to act, and find solutions that can save future lives- it consitutes "some comfort and even hope."