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Gas Utility Fined $8,500 in Electrocution

May 21, 1987

The Southern California Gas Co. has been ordered to pay $8,500 in fines after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the 1985 electrocution of an employee who struck an underground power line in Glendale.

Glendale Municipal Judge Barbara Burke also placed the utility on probation for two years and ordered that the company adopt and enforce a plan to prevent workers from accidentally striking underground utility lines.

The district attorney's office filed the criminal complaint after Richard Bergman, 23, of Sunland was killed when he struck the city cable while digging a pipeline to a new apartment building at 233 N. Isabel St.

The utility was charged with violating a provision of the state Labor Code. As a result of the incident, state law has been amended to require that utilities mark the location of cables and pipelines before an excavation begins.

Civil action filed by the victim's parents against the city and the gas company is still pending in Glendale Superior Court.

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