Mark Gillispie

CLEVELAND: The family of a teenage girl disabled for life after touching a downed power line has reached a $60 million lawsuit settlement with two FirstEnergy subsidiaries responsible for repairing the line that fell during the remnants of Superstorm Sandy.

Gasia Thomas, now 16, suffered a severe brain injury when she touched the line on Nov. 1, 2012, as she and a younger sister walked to school in Cleveland, according to court documents. Gasia will require round-the-clock care the rest of her life, according to a court document. The younger sister received minor injuries.

Settlement documents filed in Cuyahoga County Probate Court detail missteps by the companies and a Cleveland police officer that led to Gasia’s disabling injuries. A judge must approve the settlement. Her family previously settled a claim against the city for $700,000 over a police officer’s failure to stand guard near the line.

Gasia wasn’t breathing when an emergency medical crew arrived, and she had to be resuscitated.

An attorney for Cleveland Electric Illuminating and First Energy Service declined to comment Friday. Michael Becker, an attorney for the family, also declined to comment.

Cleveland Electric Illuminating runs the local power system and is responsible for repairing downed lines. First Energy Service, like CEI, is a subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy and was responsible for relaying emergency calls to CEI about damaged and fallen lines.