ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Liability for shocks  (Read 7263 times)

Mike Sokol

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3356
  • Lead instructor for the No~Shock~Zone
    • No~Shock~Zone Electrical Safety
Liability for shocks
« on: July 03, 2014, 08:37:29 am »

Just found this on EC&M. Note that by paying a permit fee, residents had implied electrical safety at a dock and their lawsuit could move forward. That suggests that if you charge a promoter/town/band to supply power for a stage, then you're ultimately liable for anyone getting shocked/electrocuted on your stage. On the other hand, whoever issued the permit for a stage could be held liable as well, according to this ruling.

No, I'm not a lawyer (and never played one on TV), but I think we should all be sure our liability insurance is paid up, and do everything we can be assure our power systems are as safe as we can make them.

============================

A District Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that had previously dismissed Ameren Missouri from a wrongful death lawsuit for the electrocution of two children at Lake of the Ozarks in July 2012. The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals found that Ameren Missouri did not have immunity under Missouri's Recreational Use Act (RUA) from liability for the dock on its lake due to the permit fees that the utility company charges for docks, according to a report from Lake News Online.

On July 4, 2012, Alexandra Anderson, 14, and Brayden Anderson, 8, died while swimming around their family's dock when it released electricity from devices on the dock into the water. The suit, filed by the children's mother, alleges that Ameren's negligence caused the deaths. An investigation indicated an improperly grounded electrical circuit to the dock, which was not ground-fault protected, was a contributing factor in their deaths.
Related

Lake Community Focuses on Dock Inspections

Kansas City Star Reports on Ungrounded, Uninspected Lake Docks

Lake News Online reported that in both her appeal and original petition, Anderson argued that Ameren's dock permit fee acted as a "use fee" for lake residents to "use and enjoy" the lake through their docks. The suit further stated that Ameren had the authority to revoke dock permits for any dock it deemed unsafe through enforcement fees and that the company should have known that adequate protection required ground fault interrupt devices to be placed at or above the seawall of each dock in order to prevent the hazards of electrical shock or electrocution in the event of a short circuit or other electrical fault.

The Western District judges agreed that the dock permit and enforcement fees were user fees for the construction, use and enjoyment of their family dock and were sufficient to remove Ameren's immunity from liability under the RUA.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:54:59 am by Mike Sokol »
Logged
Mike Sokol
mike@noshockzone.org
www.NoShockZone.org

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4280
  • St. Paul, MN
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 08:47:09 am »

Just found this on EC&M. Note that by paying a permit fee, residents had implied electrical safety at a dock and their lawsuit could move orward. That suggests that if you charge a promoter/town/band to supply power for a stage, then you're ultimately liable for anyone getting shocked/electrocuted on your stage. On the other hand, whoever issued the permit for a stage could be held liable as well, according to this ruling.

No, I'm not a lawyer (and never played one on TV), but I think we should all be sure our liability insurance is paid up, and do everything we can be assure our power systems are as safe as we can make them.

============================

A District Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that had previously dismissed Ameren Missouri from a wrongful death lawsuit for the electrocution of two children at Lake of the Ozarks in July 2012. The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals found that Ameren Missouri did not have immunity under Missouri's Recreational Use Act (RUA) from liability for the dock on its lake due to the permit fees that the utility company charges for docks, according to a report from Lake News Online.

On July 4, 2012, Alexandra Anderson, 14, and Brayden Anderson, 8, died while swimming around their family's dock when it released electricity from devices on the dock into the water. The suit, filed by the children's mother, alleges that Ameren's negligence caused the deaths. An investigation indicated an improperly grounded electrical circuit to the dock, which was not ground-fault protected, was a contributing factor in their deaths.
Related

Lake Community Focuses on Dock Inspections

Kansas City Star Reports on Ungrounded, Uninspected Lake Docks

Lake News Online reported that in both her appeal and original petition, Anderson argued that Ameren's dock permit fee acted as a "use fee" for lake residents to "use and enjoy" the lake through their docks. The suit further stated that Ameren had the authority to revoke dock permits for any dock it deemed unsafe through enforcement fees and that the company should have known that adequate protection required ground fault interrupt devices to be placed at or above the seawall of each dock in order to prevent the hazards of electrical shock or electrocution in the event of a short circuit or other electrical fault.

The Western District judges agreed that the dock permit and enforcement fees were user fees for the construction, use and enjoyment of their family dock and were sufficient to remove Ameren's immunity from liability under the RUA.
Many, possibly even most of the hotel ballrooms I work have illegal wiring.  One uses a 15-60 (HHHG) to supply their house distro.  Several use 4/4 SO cord to power 100A+ distros.  I've never understood how this situation can stand - even in 4-star downtown hotels.  Code enforcement is apparently non-existant.  The fact that usually these services come with a $$$ or more fee is doubly frustrating.  I suppose only a fire or a shock will change things, due to lawsuits like these.
Logged

Tim McCulloch

  • SR Forums
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 20458
  • Wichita, Kansas USA
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 09:48:19 am »

I've held the opinion that if you provide it, you're liable for it.... and even if you didn't provide it a jury may find you liable anyway.

As for TJ's comments about hotel and event center electrical, I agree.  Typically they use the 'wrong' connector to keep folks from just plugging in.  If you have to order a distro through the hotel you can be certain that electrical use and distro rental charges will appear on the bill.

Truly shocking are the amounts charged for non-compliant equipment and electricity.  But that's another post...
Logged
"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Mark Cadwallader

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1281
  • Helena, Montana USA
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 09:49:55 am »

Mike, it is unclear to me from the article you quote whether the company named as the (a) defendant is a utility provider (POCO) and/or the owner of the land where the docks were installed. If either is the situation, there may (might) be a significant legal distiction to draw. Please note that I'm not an attorney licensed to practice in Missouri, and I have not read the underlying decisions. Liability laws vary from state to state, even within the United (?) States of America, so YMMV.  Mark C.
Logged
"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Mike Sokol

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3356
  • Lead instructor for the No~Shock~Zone
    • No~Shock~Zone Electrical Safety
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 10:05:49 am »

Mike, it is unclear to me from the article you quote whether the company named as the (a) defendant is a utility provider (POCO) and/or the owner of the land where the docks were installed.

Yes, this was written in "legalese" which get's confusing to me when anything beyond double negatives are used.  >:(

But you can see that there are HUGE sums of money involved with wrongful death lawsuits. I remember doing an outside show with multiple delay towers across the field. We had the stage company supply portable scaffolding about 8 feet off the ground which we used to ground-stack amp racks and speaker cabinets at each location. We safety taped around the legs of each scaffold to keep people our from underneath, but every time I would walk the field I would find a few people "camped out" under the scaffolding. I would explain to them that there was the weight of a car right over their heads, and move them out. But when I came out to check an hour later, another group would have pulled down the warning tape and camped out again. I can just imagine the liability issues if something collapsed since they would have been squashed like bugs, but think I did everything within my power to stop them short of posting a guard at each location. Perhaps if I used a Taser on a few of them they would get the idea.  :o (just kidding, but you were thinking it too) 
Logged
Mike Sokol
mike@noshockzone.org
www.NoShockZone.org

Jonathan Johnson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2999
  • Southwest Washington (state, not DC)
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 11:11:28 am »

Mike, it is unclear to me from the article you quote whether the company named as the (a) defendant is a utility provider (POCO) and/or the owner of the land where the docks were installed. If either is the situation, there may (might) be a significant legal distiction to draw. Please note that I'm not an attorney licensed to practice in Missouri, and I have not read the underlying decisions. Liability laws vary from state to state, even within the United (?) States of America, so YMMV.  Mark C.

As I read it, while they are a utility, as a defendant in this case they are being treated as the landowner. That is, the power company built a dam, which created a reservoir, which people-who-can-afford-high-powered-attorneys developed recreation properties around. The fact that they (may) also provide the electrical power that is used at the dock is irrelevant to the case, as the power distribution on the dock is the responsibility of the dock owner (the offendant -- er, I mean the plaintiff), since the utility's responsibility ends at the meter. Having a process to issue permits for private docks on the PoCo-owned reservoir implies a responsibility of revoking that permit if the dock is not safe.
Logged
Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Jonathan Johnson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2999
  • Southwest Washington (state, not DC)
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 11:14:24 am »

Many, possibly even most of the hotel ballrooms I work have illegal wiring.  One uses a 15-60 (HHHG) to supply their house distro.  Several use 4/4 SO cord to power 100A+ distros.  I've never understood how this situation can stand - even in 4-star downtown hotels.  Code enforcement is apparently non-existant.  The fact that usually these services come with a $$$ or more fee is doubly frustrating.  I suppose only a fire or a shock will change things, due to lawsuits like these.
It would be cheaper for the hotel -- and safer for everyone -- to just have a means of locking out the power to a properly selected and wired distro receptacle. And they could still charge $$$ or more.
Logged
Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

jasonfinnigan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 329
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 04:08:58 pm »

So would providing the power distro but not charging an extra fee for it, just including it as part of normal service relive you of that liability?

Kind of like those infomercial Amish fire place electric heaters, they say you by the woodwork and the electric heater part (which is made into it) is a "free gift" the reason is if it doesn't work it was a free gift so theres not much you can do about it unless its the wood work with issues.

http://todstrohblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/miracle.html
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 04:11:25 pm by JasonFinnigan »
Logged

Tim McCulloch

  • SR Forums
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 20458
  • Wichita, Kansas USA
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 04:23:29 pm »

So would providing the power distro but not charging an extra fee for it, just including it as part of normal service relive you of that liability?

Kind of like those infomercial Amish fire place electric heaters, they say you by the woodwork and the electric heater part (which is made into it) is a "free gift" the reason is if it doesn't work it was a free gift so theres not much you can do about it unless its the wood work with issues.

http://todstrohblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/miracle.html

Probably not.  The 'fireplace' maker doesn't want the _product liability_ of the heater.  This is different because we as system providers must furnish incidental electrical service as part of our normal gig, and are not selling a finished product to an end user.
Logged
"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Jeff Bankston

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2269
Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 06:01:44 pm »

i have seen these Amphenol connectors in hotel ballrooms. 4/0 5 wire. the female connector is mounted on the wall. all the ones i have seen have a disconnect switch but if someone doeasnt turn the disconnect off it can be deadly. fingers can be stuck in those holes in the female connector. who is liable for that ?
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Liability for shocks
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 06:01:44 pm »


Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.097 seconds with 23 queries.