Woman Injured By Stray Electricity Sues SoCal Company

A Redondo Beach resident grew so weary of electrical shocks in her home that she took the Southern California Edison electric company to court for damages.

The errant electricity is incredibly frustrating for the residents, all the more so because Southern California Edison has done nothing to fix the problem. In addition to the annoyance, the effects of stray electricity can be quite serious. A young family member in the neighborhood suffered damage to her esophagus and intestines from electricity surging unchecked into the home, according to sources. The damage to this young woman is at the heart of the lawsuit.

The gist of the complaint is that the electrical substation in the neighborhood had made the block uninhabitable, and that SCE knew about the problem for over forty years and did nothing. SCE built and sold at least one home in question in the 1960s, and since 1980, they knowingly let families move into homes that should never have existed.

In addition, SCE left them in the dark. The family had no idea why their daughter was ill or why they had to take her to the hospital so frequently. Doctors told the family that electrical shocks partially paralyzed her esophagus. Overall, they believe the electric company ought to buy out owners of homes around the substation and never sell the properties again. From a health standpoint, the homes should be deemed uninhabitable.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs say the situation is more serious than the SCE simply ignoring the frequent complaints of stray electricity. They claim the electric company knew for decades how much electricity was actually surging through the air and ground into the residences. The case is seeking to find SCE guilty of willful negligence.

The attorney suing the SCE believes the electrical giant must buy the homes and raze them, rejecting any other solution as absurd. A neighbor’s case against SCE already resulted in an award to the claimant of over $4 million after electricity coming through the shower head repeatedly shocked her. SCE was said to have acted with “reckless disregard and was negligent” in their dealings with the resident in that case.

For its part, SCE is considering an appeal, claiming the judge ignored the “totality of the evidence in the trial.” Meanwhile, the only recourse for residents has been to walk away from properties. Walking away has resulted in foreclosure. Neighbors report instances of electrical shocks occurring when residents opened mailboxes. Many believe the metal pipes underground that service the homes are conductors of at least some of the stray electricity.