Stray voltage by its very name and nature is a difficult entity to trace. And when it is suspected of causing harm on a dairy, it can be a testy condition to eliminate. Such was the case at Bollant Farms in southwest Wisconsin. According to published reports, the Bollant family dairy farm had not one, but two separate stray voltage issues.
The family first noticed a problem in 2002 when cows began acting irritable and kicked off milking machine units more frequently than the average cow. Other problems arose including dead and deformed calves. The family experienced large losses of both calves and cows. Those complications, the plaintiffs argued, occurred when their electric provider replaced copper power lines with single-phase. The problem was pinpointed by consultants, and then it went away when three-phase power came to that region of Grant County.
The plainiffs then argued that the problem resurfaced when the electric provider installed an automatic meter-reading device. According to reports, the device was not properly installed, and, when it was fixed some three years later, the herd's production and health started to improve.
After listening to all the testimony, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them $5 million in damages. Of that money, $3.75 million was for economic losses, while $1.25 million was for pain and suffering.
To read more, click here to read a full report published in the Grant County Herald Independent.