A Redondo Beach woman repeatedly shocked in her shower due to stray electricity has been awarded $4 million by a Los Angeles County jury, according to her attorney.
Southern California Edison was ordered pay $1.05 million in compensatory damages and $3 million punitive damages to Simona Wilson, the jury ruled Tuesday.
Wilson and her three children were living in a home on Knob Hill Avenue next to an Edison substation when she was first shocked, her attorney Lars Johnson said. The residence was originally built by the utility to rent to its employees, Johnson said.
The stray electricity allegedly left her with nerve damage in her hands and feet, according to her attorney.
"She started feeling tingling in her shower head and discovered she had electricity on it," Johnson said.
Although doctors were unable to link the stray electricity to Wilson's alleged injuries, an independent home inspector told her to "get out" immediately, according to her attorney.
"There was no combustion, but sure as heck, it's a concern when you have gas lines when you're living in a home like that with three children," Johnson said.
Wilson eventually lost the house to foreclosure.
Edison said in a statement that it made sufficient efforts to address Wilson's problem and the award is inconsistent with the evidence presented in court. The utility said it is disappointed and still deciding whether to appeal:
"SCE provided considerable engineering and other testimony during the trial that refuted the claims made by Wilson. SCE 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. The company also has cooperated fully with the investigation conducted by the Safety and Enforcement Division of the California Public Utilities Commission."
Johnson said other homes in the area have also been affected by stray electricity.
"The whole neighborhood is involved. People have moved out. There are other lawsuits. It's a big deal," Johnson said.