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Lawsuit filed over electrocution of wildlife officer against TECO Energy and other companies

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Posted at 4:02 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-19 06:31:38-05

A lawsuit has been filed following the death of a wildlife officer who was electrocuted while riding his bicycle along the Courtney Campbell Causeway last year. 

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Thursday by the family of Gregory Patterson of Tampa against TECO Energy and related companies. Patterson was an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He was off duty at the time of the incident. 

The lawsuit was filed by the Tampa law firm of Wilkes & McHugh in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. The suit alleges failures on the part of TECO Energy Inc., Tampa Electric Co., Emera US Inc., and Emera US Holdings Inc. led to Patterson's untimely death.

The morning of July 13, 2016, Patterson was riding a bicycle on the Courtney Campbell Trail, which runs parallel to the Courtney Campbell Causeway.  

At the time Tampa police said Patterson died after his bicycle came into contact with a downed power line on the Courtney Campbell Causeway bike path.

It was reported the line may have been down due to bad weather the night before.

At the time TECO said it was unaware a power line was down on the bike path until after the incident occurred.

Patterson served in the U.S. Navy and joined FWC in December 2011. He received the FWC Lifesaving Award in 2014 for helping to save an exhausted kayaker clinging to his watercraft in Tampa Bay.