Stray voltage lawsuit heard in Wisconsin
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) — A central Wisconsin couple wants a utility company to pay for the loss of their dairy farm which they blame on stray voltage.
Steven and Annette Weyerts are suing Wisconsin Power and Light Co., saying the utility misled them about voltage levels on their farm in Junction City. The Weyerts say stray voltage hurt or killed their cows and forced them to sell their herd and auction their equipment in 2009. Stray voltage is low-level voltage between two contact points where electricity is grounded.
In Wood County Circuit Court, the Weyerts are asking for damages for lost milk production, the fair market value of their herd, injury to their dairy animals, excessive veterinary expenses and the loss of their farm, according to Stevens Point Journal Media.
The Weyerts said Wisconsin Power and Light tested the farm for stray voltage in 2008 with the knowledge that the Weyerts planned to buy the farm and move their herd to the property. The lawsuit said a utility employee told the Weyerts that his tests found 0.5 volts of stray voltage; one volt and above is considered cause for concern.
The plaintiffs say an unlabeled circuit breaker box that was in need of repair was never disclosed when they bought the farm.
Wisconsin Power and Light spokeswoman Annmarie Newman said the electrical service provided to the farm met regulatory standards.