Are utility companies liable if an object comes into contact with a power line and causes electrocution?
If your loved one was electrocuted because an object on his person, such as a ladder, touched the power line, you might wonder who is responsible.
When objects come into contact with an electrical line causing injury or death, electrical companies can still be liable. For example, in Arkansas Power & Light Company v. Johnson, the electrical company was liable when a painter moved his aluminum ladder into contact with the power line, determining that the power company failed to inspect the line after the pole holding up the line was tilted.
But just because there’s an injury based on an object coming into contact with an electrical wire doesn’t necessarily render the electrical company liable. There will still have to be something for an electrocution lawyer to point to in order to claim negligence on behalf of the electrical company.
For instance, in Arkansas Power & Light Company v. Prince, a judgment for the plaintiff was reversed — despite the plaintiff suffering serious injuries when a metal pipe came into contact with an electrical wire. The court held that the installation of the wires were in accordance of construction methods and there was no evidence of negligence on the part of the electrical company.