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Helping Farmers With Complex Stray Voltage Claims

“Stray voltage” or “stray current” is a phenomenon recognized and proven in recent years to have a devastating impact on farms and farm animals. Stray voltage is caused by electric current running through the property and can have either off-farm or on-farm sources. The off-farm source is almost always the electric utility serving the affected farm. This can come in the form of either steady-state current or through transient spikes in electricity. The utilities vigorously fight these cases and typically blame the farmer for any damages.

While all property with grounded electrical current will have some stray voltage, you should not accept elevated levels of current on your property. High levels of stray current can greatly impact the health and well-being of your livestock, resulting in high economic damages. Our legal team thoroughly investigates these claims, identifies elevated levels of voltage and fights for the compensation you deserve. Stray voltage claims can be complex. To learn more about this unique type of agricultural claim, visit our Stray Voltage FAQ page.

The Harmful Effects Of Stray Voltage

Damage from stray voltage is hard to detect, and hiring the right people for evaluation and testing is important. While stray voltage can affect any animal, dairy cows have proven to be particularly susceptible to electric current. The scientific literature supports the conclusion that the dairy cow’s immune system is adversely affected by stray voltage, leading to a variety of problems such as:

  • Mastitis
  • Hoof problems
  • Loss of milk production
  • Reproductive loss
  • Death

Because the cow’s immune system is compromised by electric current, numerous pathogens that would otherwise not affect the cow are permitted to flourish. Veterinarians and nutritionists often treat just the symptoms or just the specific disease that they diagnose, without seeking and eradicating the underlying cause of the immune suppression.

Commonly, the farmer seeks the advice of his usual professional consultants, who then attempt the usual, well-accepted methods of eradicating a problem. Sometimes, these solutions work, but only temporarily. More problems develop or those that exist become resistant to any form of treatment. In the case of mastitis, the farmer’s milking practices and procedures, which have not changed, become suspected as a cause of increased somatic cell count. Sometimes, farmers make management decisions that make matters worse while seeking solutions, without knowing or realizing that the underlying cause is an immune suppression problem caused by stray voltage.

Partner With An Experienced Legal Team

Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., has represented many farmers whose livestock are suffering from stray voltage. We understand the law and the science, and we know how to take on large utilities in courts. Call our Rochester office at 507-218-2392, Bloomington office at 952-209-9978 or contact us online.