Not many people think about the possibility of electrified docks when they're swimming and having a good time in the warm summer months. Moreover, one family's summer fun ended up in an unexpected tragedy, which unfolded before their eyes, in a very preventable accident. Furthermore, July 4, 2012, Brayden and Alexandra Anderson died in the Lake of the Ozarks, after they were electrocuted while swimming in the water. Likewise, within the same week, 26-year-old, Jennifer Lankford also was electrocuted and died in the water. In addition, many are asking if Ameren should be held liable for their deaths due to far-reaching effects of the state's liability laws; Ameren owns the lake and runs a hydroelectric plant at the location.
Due to conflicting laws, it is not a clear-cut case. For instance, according to Missouri's Recreational Use Act, organizations that allow the free use of public property are not liable for injuries sustained, as long as the property isn't used commercially. Yet, attorney for the Anderson family, Kevin Davidson argues that since Ameren charges private dock owner's fees for their use, it makes them exempt from the law. Additionally, Davidson states that Ameren should've ensured the dock was safe and inspected for use prior to the accident. On the other hand, Ameren's attorney argues that although private dock owners do pay fees, the company does not use it for a moneymaking venture. All in all, it is a sad fact that the dock was an entry point into the water, which led to the death of the children.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of unsafe premises, the skilled St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth would like to hear from you. Please contact us today for a free consultation.