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Equipment Damage by Utility Company

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On Monday, April 17, 2000, we had a power outage between the hours of approximately 2:30 PM and 9:00 PM. Sometime between 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM, the power started coming back on at extremely low levels. The lights were very dim, and my answering machine started to make funny noises. I attempted to turn everything off and thought I had done so, until the following morning, when I turned on my AM/FM Scott RS550 tuner and found that it did not work at all.

I submitted a claim to my electrical distribution company, Southern California Edison, because I believe that my equipment's failure was caused by the abnormally low power being transferred over the line, while my tuner was activated in a power standby mode.

My claim was denied, and it appears that my only resource is small claims court. The replacement cost on my stereo is around $199. Edison says that I can't prove that their outage caused the problem. Yet, I know that it did since it was working fine before the outage.

Does it appear that I might have a worthwhile case with potential for Edison to pay for the damage, or would I be better off to swallow my pride and forget it?

Invest In Vets
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Senior Member
This is a 'coin-toss'. You are going to have a lot of aggravation, and possibly lose any case that you might bring.

Here is what I foresee in a suit:
1) You will have to take your equipment to a competent shop and have it examined. You are going to need a statement that the cause of the damage was the power company outage.
2) Power company can claim the outage was not their fault (car accident dropped pole, transformer, etc.)

Basically, a lot of hassle for a maybe win. Also, why not claim on your homeowners insurance???

Steve Halket
Judgment Recovery of Houston
[email protected]
This is my PERSONAL OPINION and is not legal advice! Consult your local attorney for your specific situation and laws!

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