Forensic Engineering Analysis of a Swimming Pool Electric Shock Injury
Keywords:electric shock drowning, ESD, three-phase power, stray voltage, stray current, forensic engineering
This case involves a minor who received an electric shock while swimming in a membership swimming pool. Her family sued the pool association, its president, the electric utility, and others. At some time, tree trimmers had accidentally severed the service drop’s neutral return wire. The electric utility made a temporary splice repair, but did not permanently replace the wire until several years later (after the incident). The forensic engineer (FE) was retained by counsel for the pool and its president to opine on electrical aspects of the plaintiff’s complaints. The FE inspected the pool premises, reviewed documents, and examined the spliced service wires in storage. The FE opined that the pool association and its president were not negligent or careless — and that the electric utility failed its responsibility to maintain the service drop. This report discusses three-phase electric power, current flow, and how a severed neutral can cause a shock.
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