Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 34° Fog
News >  Nation

City loses appeal of electrical damage caused by squirrel

A tree squirrel gathers up an acorn in the grass of Corbin Park Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. The Iowa Supreme Court says an insurance company doesn’t have to pay for damages after a squirrel climbed onto an electrical transformer and triggered a high-voltage spark that damaged a city’s power substation. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
A tree squirrel gathers up an acorn in the grass of Corbin Park Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. The Iowa Supreme Court says an insurance company doesn’t have to pay for damages after a squirrel climbed onto an electrical transformer and triggered a high-voltage spark that damaged a city’s power substation. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court says an insurance company doesn’t have to pay for damages after a squirrel climbed onto an electrical transformer and triggered a high-voltage spark that damaged a city’s power substation.

The court ruled Friday that the city of West Liberty held an insurance policy from EMC Insurance that excluded damage caused by electrical arcs that aren’t related to lightning.

The city argued that a squirrel caused the damage because the animal touched a 7,000-volt clamp and a grounded metal frame, which caused an electrical arc and shorted out the equipment.

But the Supreme Court sided with lower courts that concluded the damage was caused by the electrical arc, not the squirrel.

The city filed a lawsuit in January 2016 after EMC refused to pay the more than $213,000 in damage.

An attorney for the city did not immediately respond to a message.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
Sponsored

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.