An Alabama jury awarded $1.5 million to a man shocked by low-hanging power lines. The Plaintiff was paving a road in Alabama when his vehicle struck Black Warrior Electric power lines, sending 7,600 volts of electricity through his right arm.
Suffice to say, that is a lot of electricity, although voltage alone is cause for injury, it is the voltage multiplied by the current. Obviously, his insulation in the vehicle would be important. Still, it has to affect a jury to learn that the guy got shocked by an amount of voltage that is substantially less than the voltage given in the electric chair (about 2000 volts).
Plaintiff’s successfully argued at trial that this accident would not have happened if the power company had complied with national codes require that power lines that carry that amount of voltage be placed a certain height above the ground. The jury apparently agreed.
Every year thousands of people are killed or seriously injured because of faulty or defective electrical wiring. Usually, it is just like the facts of this case: a worker on the job that comes into contact with excessive power. Power lines and exposed electrical sources cause too many needless deaths and injuries, injuries that could be avoided if people took public and workplace safety more seriously.