Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co. (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 786

The plaintiff sued GMSR’s client, Southern California Edison, after renovations to her bathroom caused her to feel a slight tingle of electricity when she touched her showerhead, caused by neutral-to-earth voltage from a nearby Edison substation.  She won a $4 million jury verdict on multiple causes of action, which GMSR succeeded in having reversed in a published decision on appeal.

The plaintiff retried her case on the only cause of action left open to her after the first appeal:  Nuisance.  This time, the jury awarded $1.2 million, despite undisputed evidence that the electricity on her fixtures could be (and in fact was) eliminated by isolating them, which cost about $5,000.  On appeal, Edison argued that the verdict was skewed by the trial court’s admission of evidence of the history of stray voltage at the property before the plaintiff bought it and at other nearby properties.  The Court of Appeal agreed, and reversed for a third trial, with explicit limitations on the evidence the plaintiff could offer and the reasons for which she could offer it.

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