Electrocuted in their Own Backyard: A Tragic Accident in a Panorama City Home

Berberian Ain LLP

We tend to forget that the electrical current running through our cities and powering our daily lives is also strong enough to kill us. Nothing could illustrate this more than the unsettling chain of events that took place at a Panorama City home during an overnight rainstorm on January 25th, 2021.

At around 3:30 A.M., Ferdinand Tejada, 53, woke up to a loud noise and the smell of smoke coming from his backyard. He went outside to investigate only to come into contact with loose power lines that had come down during the storm. A neighbor’s cell phone video captured the shocking glow that ensued as he was electrocuted by the current. Tragically, so was his daughter – Janine Reyn Tejada, 20 – as she ran out to help him. Both father and daughter died at the scene that night.

This sort of unforeseen accident is a stark reminder that electrical shocks of this caliber are extremely dangerous – and anyone who comes in contact with the victim may also be fatally electrocuted. Mrs. Tejada, the victim’s wife, barely survived the incident after she also tried to help them but felt a shock, at which point she managed to pull away in time to call 911. Firefighters had to de-energize the power lines in the neighborhood to enter the scene.

According to neighbors, the rainstorm wasn’t particularly strong that night and the winds were relatively mild, so they’re not sure what caused the power lines to come down. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power issued a statement confirming the incident, but an investigation still needs to take place to pinpoint the exact cause of the fallen power lines.

Liability in Electric Shock Accidents

While the incident in Panorama City may seem like a lawless “act of God” – more often than not it can be traced back to an act of negligence. In the case of downed power lines, the responsible party will either be the city or the utility company responsible the maintaining the power lines, depending on the contract.

Electrical accidents can also occur inside your home. When a construction professional haphazardly makes electrical repairs in your home, such as leaving exposed wires uncovered, not cutting power during repairs, or leaving power cords near water sources, they can be sued for negligence if you or your family members are shocked as a result. Property owners could also be held liable for dangerous conditions or poor maintenance on their premises.

One of the most common sites for electrocution accidents is the workplace – particularly in the construction and maintenance industries. Electricians and utility workers suffer the highest number of electrocution deaths per year, and the number one cause of electrocution fatalities is overhead power lines. When safety and OSHA regulations are not followed, property owners, construction managers, and general contractors may be held liable for their negligence.

What Happens When You Are Shocked by Electricity?

An electric shock occurs when a large quantity of electric current passes through a person’s body. Depending on a number of factors including voltage, current, point of entry into the body, and the duration of the shock, the damage can range anywhere from mild to severe to even fatal. Common symptoms of electric shock can include:

  • Severe burns
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Neurological and spinal damage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nerve damage; loss of feeling or tingling

Serious electric shocks can also lead to heart attack, brain damage, internal organ damage, seizures, and damaged vision. When an electric shock is lethal, it is technically known as electrocution.

Electrocution death statistics show that there are over 400 high voltage electrocution deaths per year in the United States, as well as 30,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents that leave victims with serious injuries.

Can I File a Lawsuit After Suffering an Electric Shock?

If you were injured during an electric shock accident, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party to recover economic and non-economic damages for your injuries, which can include medical bills, lost wages, future loss of earnings due to injury, and pain and suffering.

Moreover, if a family member or loved one was killed in an electric shock accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages which can include funeral and burial expenses, financial support the deceased would have provided, loss of gifts and benefits that would have been expected from the deceased, and compensation for loss of companionship, support, and affection.

Contact an Electrocution Accident Lawyer Today

Whether you are currently struggling with electric shock injuries or have lost a loved one due to electrocution, consider speaking with an electrocution injury lawyer today. Our experienced legal team at Berberian Ain will be able to investigate your case and determine whether a third party’s negligence is responsible for your suffering.

Every case is different, so whether you need help filing a claim against an irresponsible property owner, an employer, or a utility company, our electrocution lawyers will be committed to guiding you through every step of the process so that you can win your case.