2013-12-20 / Community Events

Installation power outage damages not claimable

By John H. Belser Jr.
Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

The United States will not be liable for damages caused by the Fort Gordon power outage scheduled for Dec. 28. The United States pays claims only when specifically authorized to do so by law. In cases where personal property is damaged by an unusual occurrence incident to the owner’s military service, the damage may be claimable against the United States. In this case, property damage caused by the scheduled power outage would not be caused by an “unusual occurrence”.

Fort Gordon leaders warned residents and employees of the outage well in advance of the Dec. 28 event. Notice was first announced approximately 45 days prior to the scheduled outage with updates to the event having been published continuously since. The Army has provided reasonable time for on-post property owners to take those steps necessary to protect themselves against the loss of/ or damage to their property. This advance warning removes the outage from the category of an “unusual occurrence”.

An article published in the Dec. 6 edition of The Signal noted a number of actions residents and employees could take to prepare for the outage. Some protective measures include unplugging electronic items, even those with surge protectors. Minimize food loss by keeping refrigerator doors closed and removing items that may easily spoil. Ensure that you notify the Installation Operations Center if you have any special needs that require electricity so that the installation can assist with the development of a plan to avoid potential adverse effects resulting from the outage.

For more information or other claims matters, call the Fort Gordon Claims office at: (706) 791-6542, 791-3630, or 791-6523.

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