• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

strict liability, negligence or both?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



thanks to Racer72 for answer on the Accidents forum, I'd like to ask this forum my question, too...
Hello, I received an electrical shock injury last Wednesday at the dentist office while in a dental chair. I received 5-8 seconds duration of 120v A/current. The assistant and doctor who were next to me broke the current inadvertantly by putting the chair upright.
I had them call paramedics, because I felt I had taken electrical current and I had no obvious injury except the remaining shaking from the involuntary muscle spasms I had while I was in the current. There was no obvious other damage to me. I see that there can be nerve damage that show up later after electric shock injury, so I don't really want to just forget this happened. It should have never happened.
The next day the electrician was called to check out the equipment. He found a frayed wire under the chair which was touching the motor because the chair was lowered down so far and there was a broken off ground prong on the plug to the dental chair --when the water was squirted into my mouth by the assistant to flush the remaining anasthetic I had just been given - I became part of the circuit and had Involuntary muscle spasms and was past the couldn't let go marker.
Afterwords no one was sure about electric shock, because they really couldn't see what was going on during event, they thought I was choking or something - til I screamed and they put the chair upright.---which saved me.
I intend to see a doctor for baseline evalualuation tomorrow.
What I'm wondering is whether I might have problems proving negligence? Most family members say no - but they are not lawyers. Does anyone who has a public business have a responsibility to keep equipment maintained to certain safety codes?
Thanks for your time...


Senior Member
There is no question that you had a right not to be shocked. CLEARLY there would be liability for any injury and the dentist or his employer who operated the facility would be liable. As for the theory, it may even be the duty owed an invitee.

The issue is the extent of damages. That's going to be hard to demonstrate at this stage, as all you know is 10 seconds of pain, and juries are not big on awarding damages for that alone.

I have no doubt that there may be an unscrupulous lawyer somewher who would create a case an allege all sorts of essentially non-existenet residual trauma on something like that, but if the doctors give you a clean bill of health, you may be best off forgetting it.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential