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SoCal Edison to pay $4 million to woman injured by stray currents

March 19, 2013 |  7:01 pm

A jury has granted $4 million to a woman who alleged she was injured by stray electrical currents running through her Redondo Beach home that sits next to a Southern California Edison substation, her attorneys said Tuesday.

Simona Wilson discovered the current when she felt it on her shower head, according to her attorneys. In a three-week jury trial, she claimed stray voltage at the home she shared with her three children caused nerve damage that developed into a condition called erythromelalgia.

Her attorneys said evidence showed that Edison had previously owned Wilson’s home on Knob Hill Avenue, and had received complaints from tenants as early as the 1980s that they were getting shocked. Edison did not disclose the history when they sold the home, according to Wilson’s attorneys, Lars C. Johnson and Brian Hong.

Edison representatives said in a statement that it presented "considerable engineering and other testimony during the trial that refuted the claims made by Wilson."

In its verdict Monday, the panel unanimously found that Edison had caused a nuisance at Wilson’s home, voted 10 to 2 in finding Edison negligent, and 9 to 3 for punitive damages, according to Wilson's attorneys. Jurors awarded $1,050,000 for Wilson’s injuries and $3 million in punitive damages, they said.

Edison said it was "disappointed" by the verdict and said the decision was "inconsistent with the totality of the evidence presented at trial." Edison "believes its response to the concerns raised by Wilson regarding her home located near SCE’s Topaz Substation and its efforts to address those concerns were appropriate," representatives said in the statement.

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-- Victoria Kim

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