The family of a young girl who was electrocuted at the MGM National Harbor has brought a civil action in a Prince George County court. The claim contends that a handrail the girl touched caused a tremendous electrical shock. They allege that video footage from several days prior shows other visitors receiving an electrical jolt. They say the problem should have been repaired in a timely manner. Other named defendants include Whiting-Turner and Rosendin Electric, who are accused of encouraging workers to compromise safety in order to finish the project quickly. The FBI was also investigating to assess the performance of the work.
Fox 5 News in Washington D.C. claims to have received a copy of the claim and says the girl now requires significant medical treatment. Rosendin Electric says they are fully cooperating with the investigators and that they have yet to definitively draw “any conclusions”. An attorney for the girl said that she struggles to communicate or move. Doctors are not optimistic that she will make any major strides in recovery.
After initially spending two months in the hospital, the girl was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. The jolt that struck her was estimated as “10 times the flow of electricity intended to power the light”. Her injuries have since been classified as life-altering and she may need life-long medical assistance. If a defibrillator had been available at the time of the incident paramedics believe that she may not have endured such a long period of time without oxygen.
Negligent Electrical Work
The electrical shock is believed to have occurred based on negligent installation and wiring work. An engineering report suggested that the wiring was not compliant with the local building code and should not have passed the inspection phase. An engineer who spoke independently about the wiring called the work simply “terrible”. The Washington Post's assessment was also that the installation, particularly of the handrail itself, was faulty. One report showed the railing was installed in a way that allowed for exposed wiring to touch other metal material.
An MGM spokesman stated that they “do not compromise safety” during construction and installation projects. He said that reports showing substandard contractor work were both “disturbing and disappointing”. The facility claims to only hire “licensed, reputable contractors”. The casino resort facility was opened in 2016 at a total estimated cost of roughly $1.4 billion. The hotel contains more than 300 rooms spanning 24 floors. The property is said to be 23 acres overall.
Maryland Premises Liability Laws
The lawsuit alleges that the facility staff was aware that a dangerous condition existed and should have warned the guests. According to state statutes, the girl would be considered an invitee at the time. This is based on her status as an individual on the premises for a purpose associated with a business of the landowner or controller. In this situation, the owner has a duty to maintain safe conditions for those on their land. This applies to all areas of the property that the invitees may possibly visit.