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NSW No Home Insurance in Public Housing - Who's Responsible for Power Surge?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Livvy, 5 January 2015.

  1. Livvy

    Livvy Member

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    Ok so 4 days before Christmas a trampoline that is owned by people at the end off my street flew into the air and hit the power lines causing a blackout. Energy company was called and the came and restored the power to the street. When this happened I noticed my power was not on, I went outside and approached a representative of the energy supplier and asked him to have a look at my meter box attached to the house. He said this wouldn't be a problem when he looked he found that several of the fuses were blown.

    He replaced the blown ones and my lights came back on. I then tried the TV but to my horror it didn't work it had blown up. I then checked house and realised everything in my house that was plugged in to a power point did not work except my fridge and freezer. I lost my TV, aircon, washing machine, Internet modem, home phones, Austar, usb wall plugs, alarm clocks, DVD players.

    When I went to see owners of trampoline and asked anthem what were they going to do they told me that it is not their responsibility and they are not liable for the damages. I am not the only person in the street that lost something but It did hit my house the worst. I live in a department of housing property that has not had the meter box upgraded with surge protectors. My main question is who holds responsibility i do not have home insurance and cannot afford to replace the things lost.

    Who is liable and has to replace my things?
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Livvy,

    First, you should get a professional electrician (or a couple) to do an assessment of your house and make sure that the blown fuses which caused your appliances to become damaged and usable was due to the power surge/outage and that without the power surge/outage, the appliances would not have become damaged or that if there was a risk of a blown fuse, that your appliances would not have been damaged to the extent that it is now. In other words, you need to get professional opinion that the power surge/outage on that day at that time (caused by the trampoline) caused the damage to your appliances.

    Second, speak with your local council and ask them who bears responsibility for power surges/blown fuses. You may consider the power company or the company that owns the line to be co-defendant. Further, speak with your local community legal centre, the NSW Legal Aid and the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW to enquire what would happen in instances where household appliances or houses are damaged due to power surges/blown fuses caused by power lines.

    It may be that the owner of the trampoline (for having the trampoline in their back yard and not securing it properly), the person that caused the trampoline to fly into the air (for causing the trampoline to fly into the air and causing the damage to your house) and/or the energy service provider (for any negligence in not having mechanisms in place that prevents power surges where there is an issue with their lines) are all or partly at fault. Therefore, you need to figure out the exact cause (or causal links) to the damage to your household appliances and then, who was negligent here.
     
    Tim W likes this.
  3. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    However, given this is a unique situation that may require quite a bit of investigating and possibly hiring of a private lawyer, you should consider whether such costs (including antagonising your neighbour) are worth the costs of replacing your household appliances. Work out how much you have lost in monetary terms and figure out if you can afford to absorb the costs of the damaged appliances or absorb the costs of legal action if you are to pursue compensation.
     
    Tim W likes this.
  4. lawanswers

    lawanswers Moderator
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