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"Case Studies" > Personal Injury – Negligence > The Electrocution That Never Happened

The Electrocution That Never Happened

Summary:


Essential to the defense case was establishing the care defendant took to
establish a safety protocol for contractors to follow in order to avoid
accidentally contacting underground utilities. The Dig-Alert system was
created for this purpose. The step-by-step procedures illustrated in this
exhibit educated the jury about defendant’s procedures and allowed
counsel to point out which procedures were not followed by plaintiff.

A construction site accident involving underground electrical utilities revealed how preconceived, and ultimately incorrect assumptions about how high power lines work can precipitate a lawsuit. In this case, an explosion and fire occurred when a worker circumvented “dig-alert” rules and ruptured an electrical line. The assumption was he was electrocuted at the time of the break. However, a ground-fault safety mechanism rendered this allegation impossible. Graphics were used to explain what really happened.

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