A tragedy in Tuscan, Arizona is developing into a difficult torts case. Deshun Glover was killed by electrocution after a baseball game in July. There appears to be a combination of negligent acts leading to the death as companies deny responsibility.
Parents noticed Glover standing in a puddle near a light and shaking after a game. When they tried to touch him, they received a shock. His father then took a running start and knocked him free of the electrical current but it was too late for the boy.
The most obvious culprit is a contractor, Flouresco Lighting Company, which reportedly did substandard work that led to the charging of the ground near the light. Even if FLC has an independent contractor contract, the city may still be viable if the court finds that this is a nondelegable duty as shown in Colmenares Vivas v. Sun Alliance Insurance Co.
A report shows that work done in September, 2007, by Flouresco was not properly completed. However, the report also found fault with Tucson Electric Power because it found that the accident was “exacerbated by a high impedance neutral at the TEP transformer secondary bushings. This high impedance neutral limited the current flow and prevented the 200 amp circuit breaker from tripping and eliminating the hazard.”
Thus, company A was negligent in creating the danger but company B was negligent in interfering with the circuit breaker, which would have minimized the resulting injury. That makes for a difficult legal and proximate causation question for a court.
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