A Shocking Experience
Q: Last summer, I was working as a culinary supervisor for a food-service contractor. We were in the kitchen area of a recently constructed building. When I attempted to plug my cell phone charger into an outlet, I sustained a severe electrical shock.
A: Liability can be imposed upon a landowner or a lessee who creates a defective condition on the property, or has actual or constructive notice of this condition. It can also be imposed upon a contractor who creates or has notice of the condition.
Suppose that the electrical contractor had failed to install ground fault circuit interrupters (“GFCIs”) in the kitchen area. This can happen even for a seasoned electrical contractor, not totally above cutting corners – for example, if it was rushing to meet a deadline for the opening of this building. Your attorney will argue that the contractor’s failure amounted to negligence and that this failure created the hazardous condition that caused your injuries.
In cases involving electricity, one generally wants the affidavit of an expert. Even if your expert does not personally inspect the premises, so long as he or she has consulted the affidavits of your witnesses and photographs, the affidavit may well be acceptable.
Moreover, an affidavit from a witness that he had never observed GFCIs in the kitchen area is not incompetent merely because the witness is not an electrician – especially if the witness has been familiar with GFCIs in the past.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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