Are electrocution cases involving power lines considered negligence?
There are several types of injury lawsuits. Generally, in electrocution cases involving power lines, principles of negligence apply — rather than strict liability or product liability.
The reason strict liability principles do not apply is because the transmission of electricity through power lines is not generally deemed so ultra-hazardous as to warrant strict liability, according to Kentucky Utilities Co. v Auto Crane Co..
In addition, the transmission of electricity is a public necessity and the rules for strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities rarely apply to activities carried on in pursuance of a public duty, according to Kentucky Utilities.
This means the plaintiff’s lawyer has the burden of proving the following factors in an electrocution case:
- The defendant power company owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The power company breached that duty;
- The power company’s conduct was a cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injuries;
- The power company’s substandard conduct was a legal cause of plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages (Foley v. Energy La., Inc.)