Death by Electrical Accidents and the Law

A focus on the California laws regarding wrongful death and in particular, death resulting from electrical accidents.

This paper examines how there are special laws protecting both the consumer and the worker who have to deal with electricity, particularly California Public Utilities section 8031 and 8033. It looks at how any person who is injured by an electrical accident can sue if the accident was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another. It also discusses how, in the case of the electric companies, they must make frequent inspections to insure that the lines are not defective or pose a threat to the safety of the consume ; they are responsible for protecting against any forces of nature or foreseeable threats that could result in injury or death. It also shows how, according to the law, the power company has a “non-delegable” duty to construct and maintain its facilities in a safe condition.
“In the case of Pappert v. San Diego Gas & Electric (186 cal. Rptr 847), the plaintiff. Susan A. Pappert and her children, appealed the wrongful death of her husband, Charles, arising from his electrocution while trying to cut a tree close to the uninsulated 12,000-volt power line. Were the findings correct in stating that SDG&E could not have reasonably foreseen that the defendant’s own acts would cause him harm? It cannot be proved that the tree pruner ever came in contact with the power line because no one witnessed it. So therefore, who can say what truly happened? There are some that say the tree itself may have been energized by the wire.”

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