Residents of Redondo Beach have filed a lawsuit against Southern California Edison for allegedly discharging excess electrical currents into the ground. The stray currents are allegedly reaching homes and causing some residents to become sick. Hetty Chang reports from Redondo Beach for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2013.
A Redondo Beach family is suing Southern California Edison, claiming that stray electricity coming from the utility's neighboring substation caused their daughter to suffer damage to her intestines and esophagus.
The Contrerases, who moved into the house at 806 S. Prospect Ave. in 2005, said they were constantly shocked inside their home by the electricity generated from the nearby Topaz power substation.
After a year of living on the property, Mary Contreras said her daughter was, "constantly at the hospital," and she was surprised to find out that the power station she was living near was causing her daughter to be physically ill.
"Going in and out of the hospital not knowing what was going on with her, and then you get surprise information that half of her esophagus is paralyzed, you don't know what to do," the mother said.
The rest of the family says they also suffered medical and health problems.
The lawsuit claims that SCE knew since the 1980s that the home the Contrerases moved into was subject to uncontrolled and high levels of electrical currents. Lawyers also accuse the utility of ignoring safety complaints from neighbors.
SCE declined to comment on the pending litigation.
A neighboring family is also suing SCE with the Contrerases. Homeowner Lori Barber claims she suffered severe headaches, significant hair loss and other internal health problems due to the flowing electricity. Barber's family members say they suffered from gastrointestinal problems, among several others health complications.
In March, SCE was ordered to pay $4 million to another neighbor who was repeatedly shocked in her shower due to stray electricity from the Topaz substation.
The attorney representing the Contrerases said SCE should "accept responsibility" and buy the surrounding homes and demolish them.
"People need to understand, it's not safe, and as a mother and as a wife, I'm asking them to please do the right thing and get rid of these homes," Contreras said.
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