In the last three weeks, I have been consulted by the families of three individuals who sustained devastating electric shock injuries. These injuries will have life-altering consequences and almost all involve a high degree of negligence and were easily avoidable. A common element to each of the electrical accidents noted a deviation from design plans and non-notification of changes to plans after approvals and inspections had been made by authorities.
In one of our cases, a contractor suffered an electric shock at his job site after the electrical subcontractor attempted to take short cuts and deviated from the approved design plans. Feeds to the meter bank and panel were replaced with cables not in accordance with the National Electrical Codes. Incoming wires were changed from approved copper to aluminum. Electrical service was not grounded as shown on drawing plans and service panels were not bonded with water service, steel of the building, or dwelling unit services. The electrical contractor not only used the wrong fittings and materials not supported by National Electrical Codes, but many junction boxes contained all too many wires and unprotected nail or screw penetrations as required by law.
Additionally, local inspectors approved the project despite deviations from the design and drawings, which raises additional concerns and questions considering the blatant violations of national and local electrical codes. To add insult to injury, despite the fact that the electrical contractor was required to have a letter of credit and a minimal general liability insurance policy, he and his company failed to obtain the same before and after plans were approved. The investigation revealed that the General Electrical contractor obtained a subsequent permit on another job site shortly following the electric shock of my client under a different name within a few days following the original accident. Preliminary investigation indicated a cluster of violations, mismanagement, and improper approvals by the responsible authorities. Unfortunately, the victim had no knowledge of the same prior to his electrocution and put his trust in the very officials and authorities that were supposed to be protecting his safety.
As an experienced Philadelphia electric shock attorney, I question the effectiveness of such rules and regulations when they are not followed or enforced and have no teeth. I find it somewhat outrageous and shocking that the contractor was back in business in the same community with a different alias a few days later.
Just today, I learned of an electrocution at Temple University Hospital which has yet to be fully investigated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Shawn McCool, 24-years old, of Woodbury, NJ who, according to news sources, died on May 30th at Temple University Hospital when he was electrocuted while changing a light fixture at the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry. McCool had been working with an employer in a second phase of renovations at the dental school’s clinical space according to a Temple spokesperson. Mr. McCool’s family would be well advised to seek the services of an experienced construction electrocution attorney to commence an immediate investigation.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of electric shock or died as a result of electrocution, please contact our office for a free no obligation consultation toll free at (800) 421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.