Skip to comments.$4 Million Settlement Reached In Edison Stray Voltage Case
Posted on 03/19/2013 1:01:54 PM PDT by BenLurkin
REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA.com) A multi-million dollar settlement has been reached after residents fell victim to stray voltage from a local Edison substation.
The substation sits right next to Knob Hill, a neighborhood in Redondo Beach. For years, residents have reported incidents of being shocked, as well as sickness, caused by electromagnetic fields which are generated by the power lines.
Simona Wilson filed a lawsuit against Southern California Edison after suffering from low-voltage electrocution due to her shower-head becoming electrically charged. Her homes gas line was reportedly also carrying a charge.
Wilson, who lived in the home for four years, ended up in the emergency room on numerous occasions, and the electrocution has caused nerve damage. A jury ruled in her favor, and Wilson was awarded $4.05 million for her damages.
Residents had reportedly been buying homes in the area for 30 years, with no knowledge of stray voltage in the houses.
Edison released a statement disagreeing with the verdict.
it is disappointed in the conclusions reached by the jury and believes that the outcome is inconsistent with the totality of the evidence presented at the trial.
The investigation of the neighborhood to see the extent of danger to other homes is still underway.
Junk science makes sleazy plaintiff lawyers rich?
Well, there are problems in a power system that could lead to what is described in the article, in particular, phase imbalances in a three phase system with a poor ground (or no ground).
Stray voltage is not junk science.
It is typically caused by improper grounding. It can be caused by grounding in too many places and sending neutral current through the ground system.
A few technical articles for those interested in stray voltage.
Wouldn’t that mean that the house wiring must be more protected from the magnetic fields?
or am I missing something
There is no ‘leak’ - either you are shorted to ground or not... but any coil within the magnetic field around the wire will generate a current
For several years it seemed that whenever there was a really soaking rain, the power would surge and/or go out on my street. It’s at the very edge of the PEPCO boundary with BGE outside Washington, DC. Finally PEPCO did something and it hasn’t happened again since. The lights still go out but only when the lines are actually down.
Utter garbage “science.”
“Junk science makes sleazy plaintiff lawyers rich?”
Improper grounding at the electrical entrance COULD indeed create a situation where water pipes and gas lines could be “hot”. Improper grounding at the substation could do the same thing.
Seems that it would be easy to test for though...
EM fields causing illness is utter junk.
Magnetic fields are not the problem in creating stray voltage.
It is typically caused by either multiple location groundings of a the neutral in a power system, or by multiple path groundings of neutrals in separately derived systems (from different transformers for example).
Agreed. That is a very different topic than stray voltage.
No, not always. But it’s also true that it’s often cheaper to settle junk lawsuits than try to win in court.
Here’s a piece from a publication which I’m guessing is not widely read among the health nut types who are given to believing junk science:
Now, I’ll give you another example of unbalanced three phase systems. There’s a persistent thought among meth-heads that they can chop out the neutral conductor on a wye-connected three phase system, because the neutral shouldn’t be carrying any current. In the dry textbook world of three phase, all phases should be balanced and therefore, cancel out the neutral leg currents and voltages, right?
Some clowns have been killed while cutting the neutral leg on a wye system.
BTW2: pipeline operators get concerned about things like new transmission lines going up in their area due to ground currents:
Page down to “Stray Current Corrosion.”
This is why we pay engineers to design these systems, and not health food restaurant reviewers.
Thanks. You were correct, too.
PS self-nit: these types of EM field a causing illness is junk. X-rays and gamma rays on the other hand isn’t, but those are far higher energy levels.
Yep, there is an apartment building alongside which I walk my dog and he occasionally dragged me out of there.
Didn’t know what it was until another dog owner cued me into the mild electric current leakage from some outdoor lights.
I didn’t notice, but the dog walking barefoot sure did!
Unbelievable, the word electrocution is used to describe the execution of a person via electricity. Electric-execution. no one has survived electrocution.
No, not always.
Can you give an example where it is caused otherwise? Even a case as complicated as the one referenced in the link below, comes back to neutral connections in multiple locations, although those connections were eventually made through corrosion associated with buried cables.