Gentlemen: In response to your query, “What Would You Do?” on page 16 of the April issue of EC&M, please allow me to respond.
First, upon hearing from the attorney, I would immediately ask him to contact the local mall manager and the insurance adjuster assigned to the case for a conference call regarding protecting the evidence. Next, I would ask that as many photographs be taken as possible with at least a 35 mm camera with macro capability.
Simultaneously, I would have my staff working on booking airline and hotel reservations to the site for me to get there as soon as possible.
If the mall manager were insistent on beginning the repairs, I would demand that a video camera with full sound capabilities be set up to document any work on the equipment.
If work was to begin, I would demand that any and all debris and removed equipment be bagged and tagged and moved to a protected location for analysis.
Upon arriving, I would ask that any and all witnesses be brought to the scene and have them describe in detail what they saw and when they saw it. This could establish the causation and the timeline of events.
If possible, I would ask that the work be halted until not only myself, but any other retained experts had the opportunity to view and inspect the damage before removal and repair. I would suggest that a temporary supply distribution be supplied from a truck mounted temp power company and allow the damaged equipment to be left intact. This could easily be arranged with the adjuster while on the conference call. In actuality, this situation could supply remedial power faster than rebuilding the equipment. Many temp power companies can respond and be online within a few hours.
Finally, upon arrival, I would secure the scene and begin a thorough investigation of the damages and track the causation, along with determining the extent of the injuries to the electrician, which could help explain the magnitude of the fault.
John J. Nicholas
CEO JN and JNLV Consulting Cos., Inc.
Forensic Electrical Contractors
Read on for the next letter.