Smith v. Jersey Central Power & Light Co.

24 A.3d 300 (2011)

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Smith v. Jersey Central Power & Light Co.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
24 A.3d 300 (2011)

  • Written by Rose VanHofwegen, JD

Facts

Gary and Eileen Smith (plaintiffs) sued Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (defendant) because high levels of neutral-to-earth voltage (“stray voltage” or “stray current”) from its power distribution system gave them electrical shocks in their backyard. The power company attempted over several years to rectify the problem but ultimately failed, advising the Smiths to always wear shoes to avoid being shocked. The Smiths removed their pool, swing set, and sand box, and stopped using the backyard altogether, instead building a second-story deck where their children could play. The jury found the power company not negligent but nonetheless liable for nuisance damages, prompting an appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Skillman, J.)

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