Three years after 14-year-old Deanna Green was electrocuted on a Druid Hill Park softball field, her family still does not have an explanation of how the fatal accident happened or who bears responsibility.
The Greens have filed a lawsuit against the city, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and regional contractor Del Electric Inc. seeking damages as well as some answers - some "accountability," as Deanna's father says.
But so far, the lawsuit has led to more frustration.
They have yet to learn whether the case can go forward or whether the court will compel the defendants to turn over information the family has long sought.
The city and the other defendants have asked that the Greens' lawsuit be dismissed, and a hearing on the request was scheduled Wednesday. But the family filed an amended complaint, at least temporarily halting the defendants' effort to have the case tossed out. Still, it was a hollow victory, because new motions to dismiss will likely follow and the process will start again.
"I'm happy we're still in it, but we've got a long way to go," said Anthony Green, Deanna's father. "Our day in court, that's what we're looking to have."
Baltimore's chief solicitor, Matthew W. Nayden, contends that the city is legally immune from responsibility. BGE attorney Albert J. Mezzanotte Jr. said the company is sympathetic but not responsible. And Del Electric's lawyer, Thomas V. McCarron, has asked that liability counts against the company be dismissed.
The arguments in the case are standard ones, but the circumstances are not, which makes everything feel personal, said Jose Anderson, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Green family friend. His daughter, now in college, was best friends with Deanna, and he's advising the family alongside their attorney, Andrew J. Toland III.
So far, all they're sure of is this: About 8 p.m. on May 5, 2006, Deanna, a teenager with an operatic voice, was stretching, preparing for her turn at bat in the Christian league in which she and her mom played. One foot was braced against a steel fence, which authorities would later say was touching an underground cable. When she reached to another fence, her body completed a deadly electrical circuit, and she went down instantly. She never woke up.
The Greens do not even know who laid the cable or who built the fence.
"We've been given very little information, and it's not right," Green said. "We will fight until the end. We're not going away."