"the poco will not tell me"
"There was a person"
Those two phrases speak volumes!
The PoCo, as an entity having 'eminent domain,' is sure to have their rules available to the public. They can't avoid it, since they need to reveal them in order to enforce their right to access, etc.
Not that this little detail has ever prevented private property owners from infringing upon the PoCo's easements! Naturally, decades later someone starts wailing when a line crew removes a beloved tree, or damages a trespassing fence.
There are rules and procedures for working around lines. If nothing else, OSHA rules would have addressed the matter. Had they been asked, the PoCo would have gladly wrapped the lines in protective blankets.
Once the lawyers get involved, all bets are off. It sounds like someone is trying to make the case that this accident was somehow the fault of the PoCo. Often seen as an unlimited source of funds, PoCo's are ready targets for all manner of spurious claims. With litigation involved, the PoCo isn't going to tell you anything outside the court's rules of discovery.
I also note two distinctly different stories: a crossarm failed, and someone was painting. There's something very wrong with having both stories; you sure would not get me to paint a metal roof when a broken crossarm had a wire dangling nearby!
Sometimes, bad things happen - and it's nobody's "fault." For example, things break - especially when 'public interest' groups constantly whittle away at the PoCo's efforts to maintain the system. Ralph Nader would be the first to chide the PoCo for 'unnecessary repair expenses;' maybe someone should sue him!
I can't say I've ever seen a steel building used for apartments, either. When you say 'steel building,' my imagination pictures something 20 - 25 ft. high. Other terms (powered lift, fall protection, etc.) start coming to mind. 6 ft clearance is plenty to prevent accidental contact - unless the guy grabbed the line to prevent a fall.
I wouldn't want to have anything to do with this albatross.