An electrician is suing General Electric and ICR Engineering after he suffered serious burns from a defect in a GE product. According to the complaint as reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, Michael Combs was working as a maintenance electrician at United States Steel Corporation’s Granite City, Mo., steel mill Feb. 12, when he responded to an alarm and entered the power control room for a drive sold by GE and maintained by ICR Engineering. The lawsuit states that when the cabinet door to the drive was opened, an arc flash originated from the fuses, causing third degree burns to more than 30 percent of Combs’ body, including his head, face, neck, chest, torso, arms and hands.
The complaint states that a U.S. Steel investigation determined that a failure in the drive caused an excessive heat condition causing the metallic coating of the resistor bank guard to flake off toward the fuses, causing a phase to arc flash. According to the complaint, the placement of the resistor bank and coated guard above the fuses was an inadequate and dangerous design.
Dorothy Combs is suing for loss consortium. The Combses seek more than $50,000 in damages plus costs of suit.