Coroner in Mark Lomas’ inquest into the death of Professor John Alliston calls for tougher electrical safety laws
3PB’s Head of PI and Clinical Negligence Mark Lomas represented the family of Professor John Alliston, formerly of the Royal Agricultural University, at the inquest into his death in 2017.
Shortly after Professor Alliston and his wife took a private rental of a rural property, he was working in the garden when he touched a copper pipe on the exterior of the house and received a fatal electric shock.
After a 2 day inquest, the jury concluded that Professor Alliston’s death was accidental and that the pipework had become charged by a faulty immersion heater but that he had received a fatal shock because of the absence of safety features within the electrical installation at the house, namely a residual current protection device and sufficient equipotential bonding to pipe work. No electrical safety checks had been done at the house before it was rented.
Gloucestershire Coroner, Mrs Skerrett, is considering issuing a prevention of further deaths report in relation to the absence of a mandatory requirement for electrical safety certificates to be issued before the letting of private rented accommodation. Such certificates are already required in Scotland.
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