A Michigan harbormaster has just been dismissed from a lawsuit over an 18-year-old's shock and drowning death at a city marina in 2011. Michael Knudsen died in August 2011 when he jumped off of a dock at the Duncan L. Clinch Marina, was shocked and subsequently drowned, according to a Mlive.com.
The lawsuit was filed against the Traverse City harbormaster, the city, the marina, the former Department of Public Services director, and engineering and electric companies for negligence.
Electricians who inspected the dock concluded they found "corroded, broken, and over-heated equipment ground materials and an ungrounded conductor that had worn through its insulation making contact with the junction box. . . . It appears that over time the motion or vibration of the dock began to wear at the insulation of the ungrounded conductor. . . . The insulation on the grounding conductor heading further out on the dock was completely melted and the copper was brittle and disintegrating," according to information contained in the appeals court opinion.
The city, marina and director were previously dismissed from the $50 million lawsuit because of governmental immunity.
The harbormaster asserted that he was not aware of prior electrical problems associated with the dock, and he said no one had reported electrical activity in the water, Mlive.com reported, although people who used the marina prior to the death testified that they felt electricity in the water near the dock but did not report it to marina staff.