Visitor Question

Damaged Appliances due to Transformer Blowout…

Submitted By: Beth (Chesterfield, MI)

We have had several transformers blow in our neighborhood in the past 6 months. I have had several electrical items and outlets that no longer work. I’ve bought a new refrigerator and computer among other things but never claimed anything not knowing that maybe I could.

I’m really not sure how to handle this situation or what to do first. Or how far back I can make this claim? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Beth,

You indicated that you had several transformers blow in your neighborhood in the past 6 months and that you’ve had several electrical items and outlets that no longer work.

This is a complicated situation for a number of reasons. For one, you might be looking at a potential governmental claim as you are dealing with “transformers in the neighborhood” which would be under the jurisdiction of your local utility.

If this is the case, governmental claims often have a (6) month requirement within which to submit a claim to a governmental agency, which under your facts, you might have missed.

The second issue is causation.

In order to sue anyone for a negligence claim for example, you need to be able to link conduct with damage or injury.

How to connect the bad transformers to dysfunctional electrical equipment just might require a technical expert, the fees of which may be exorbitant.

What I might suggest is that you contact your utility first and have a certified electrician come out and test amperages just to make sure that it is not an interior wiring issue.

From there, you might want to continue dealing with the utility to see if there is some recourse through them.

Lastly, if you have renters insurance, a claim might be properly submitted through that policy.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 7, 2010

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