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Electric Shock Drowning Liability

Recently, the news has shared multiple stories in Ohio and Michigan about people losing their lives to electric shock drowning. With summer in full swing, it’s important to raise awareness of this very preventable danger to keep your family safe while having fun.

Electric Shock Drowning

What is Electric Shock Drowning

Electric shock drowning (ESD) is a cause of death that occurs when swimmers are exposed to electric currents, usually low-level AC currents in most likely fresh water. The main cause of electric shock drownings is faulty wiring on boat docks that causes electric currents to leak into the water.

Preventing ESD on your property

Unfortunately, there are no visible warning signs that might tip off swimmers that the water is electrified. For all swimmers, the best way to fully prevent ESD is to not swim at or near docks with an electric power supply or near any boat(s) that may be plugged into these power supplies. Usually swimming 100 yards away is considered a safe distance.

For property, marina and boat owners, you can keep your family, friends and guests who swim at your property safe by:

  • Never using household extension cords on your dock
  • Posting no swimming signs around your dock
  • Keeping power supplies on your dock turned off and unplugged when not in use
  • Testing your boat(s) yearly to make sure they do not leak electricity
  • Have all electrical work at your dock done by a qualified electrician and inspected yearly to make sure it’s properly tested and maintained.
  • Installing GFP (ground fault protection) devices by a qualified electrician and getting them checked regularly.

ESD Liability

When electricity enters the water, it is often due to negligence by the property/boat owner. The negligence can be on the part of multiple people from the property owner, to the electrician or electrical inspector who installs and checks the equipment. They can be held responsible for all damages. When something like this happens, it is crucial to hire a personal injury attorney to help assess what happened and who can be deemed liable.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of electric shock or ESD, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.


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Attorney Charlie Contrada has been practicing law since 1979, focusing his career on personal injury, car accident, and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has helped thousands of clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to receive the settlements that they deserve.