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Risk of lawsuit when someone trips over a charge cable?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by steve841, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Not sure where to post this but ....

    When charging at a supercharging station or similar public site or UMC plugged in to an outlet at a hotel ...

    Because these days people need signs to tell them anything, what's the liability angle when your car is charging and some curious fool trips over the charging cord?

    Do we need to carry orange cones along for the ride?

    I know it's stupid, but someone actually asked me that ....
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Once I see people putting up orange cones when putting fuel in their ICE, I'll start worrying about it.
     
  3. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    It would be the property owner, not you, that would primarily be the one who could possibly be held liable. That said, anyone suing would have to demonstrate the property owner (or car owner) acted negligently in how they kept the power cable while charging. My understanding from these forums is that the superchargers have very short cords, so the car has to be right near it to reach the supercharger. And the UMC isn't too long, about the same as a typical cable at a gas station. So, unless gas stations are regularly sued successfully for people tripping over the cables running from the pump to the cars while people are filling up with gas, I'd say that there's very little to worry about with this.

    Yes, anyone can sue anybody, but that doesn't mean they're going to be successful. Given where most outlets/charging stations are located, I'd be shocked if anyone is ever successful in bringing such a claim.
     
  4. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > people tripping over the cables running from the pump to the cars [Arnold Panz]

    AP, your world view has been *almost* completely electrified. I like that!

    I just received a CS-60 charge station. Haven't opened the box yet but shining thru the handhold openings I see bright orange cables!! This will help me differentiate between the 30 Amp black cables I now use, and maybe avoid the Head of Medusa syndrome.
    --
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mode note: Edited title for clarity.
     
  6. cdabel

    cdabel Member

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    Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons I appreciate being an expat.
     
  7. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Funny -- I was trying to think of the word for the cord at the gas station pump and couldn't come up with it ("line", "cord" etc.??), so I just figured for symmetry I'd use "cable", even though that's clearly a reference to something that conducts electricity.
     
  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    Back in the late 90s I know Georgia Power got sued by a woman that tripped over one of the charging cords at a local mall, I just don't remember what the outcome was.
     
  9. ChrisgG

    ChrisgG Member

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    maybe you can sue them back for damaging the car. And as it a high voltage connection he might even go in for tried murder or something ;)

    Just play this while charging ;)

    ll Sue Ya - YouTube
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #10 NigelM, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Hose.

    Reminded me of this:

     
  11. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

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    In most jurisdictions, Plaintiffs can't recover for failing to appreciate an open and obvious condition. So, if a car is parked - of course its likely to be plugged in. Right?! Ok, ask this question again in 10 years...
     
  12. rlpm

    rlpm S P85 | Sig X _P90D_

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    There are no words to describe how ultimately bad a$$ Weird Al is. And he's right. It's too litigious out there. And I live where a woman sued McDonald's because she spilled hot coffee in her lap.
     
  13. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Sucks to be a libertarian.

    I am confounded by the thought process of law suits for anything
     
  14. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I have to speak up about that McDonald's case. While there are more frivolous lawsuits than we can count in a lifetime, that case was not one.


    • McDonald's was repeatedly warned that the temp of the coffee was being kept too hot. They deliberately did this so that coffee could poured and sit on the counter for 5 minutes or more, and still be hot enough to serve.
    • The woman who was burned suffered third degree burns and required skin grafts. The synthetic material literally melted from the temp of the coffee, stuck to her skin, and the skin was gone. I saw the pics. They weren't for the faint of heart.

    If this had been a mistake, I might not feel the same way. But McDonald's was written up by the local inspector for the excessive coffee temp. They deserved the outcome. The jury did the right thing.
     
  15. rlpm

    rlpm S P85 | Sig X _P90D_

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    Thanks for the information, Bonnie. Mea culpa for not doing any research. That case is bandied about as frivolous, but with this information, I agree it's not.
     
  16. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Don't feel bad -- this was actually a very deliberate move by McDonald's and other "tort reform" groups to discredit some otherwise legitimate claims. There was a great documentary I caught on HBO about this called "Hot Coffee" that covered that case, plus a few others, and it was extremely eye opening. For someone like me (a lawyer normally predisposed to see all lawsuits as frivolous) and many others, it was a wake up call. The woman who sued was in a parked car, there had been hundreds (or thousands) of previous complaints about the temperature of the coffee, including major injuries, and no effort by McDee's to change what they were doing.

    Here's a link with info about the movie. You may be able to find it On Demand with HBO or Netflix:

    HOT COFFEE, a documentary feature film
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Thanks for adding this, AP. I'd never seen it before, had only known enough of the specifics to conclude there was nothing frivolous about it. Don't feel bad, rlpm, the 'hot coffee' case is firmly entrenched in the national mindset. It's kind of like trying to convince people that Gore didn't actually claim to have invented the internet.
     
  18. rlpm

    rlpm S P85 | Sig X _P90D_

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    Thanks Bonnie & AP.
    Al Gore did invent Tha Intarwebs! Well, at least, he made sure the funding happened. Thanks Unca Al!
     
  19. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    That's it!

    OT, Nigel, I was wondering what they're going to call the "frunk" in the UK -- perhaps the "froot"?!
     
  20. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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