North Vancouver couple sues city, FortisBC after dog electrocuted on sidewalk

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Dog electrocuted after walking over manhole cover
WATCH: Dog electrocuted after walking over manhole cover (Aired: Feb. 25, 2018) – Feb 26, 2018

The owners of a dog that was electrocuted on a North Vancouver sidewalk in 2018 have filed a lawsuit, naming the city, a major B.C. power company and a local electrical company.

North Vancouver residents Nanami Ushiroji and Khusro Hamidi were walking their leashed, seven-year-old rottweiler-doberman-cross Coby near Lonsdale Quay on Feb. 23, when the incident happened.

“Coby stepped on a grate that was on top of a junction box … on the sidewalk, at which point he yelped, jumped up and died as a result of being electrocuted,” the suit claims.

“Ushiroji and a bystander attempted to resuscitate Coby, but they were unsuccessful. Coby had already died.”

North Vancouver RCMP have confirmed that the dog was electrocuted.

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The suit claims that Coby was an important part of the couple’s family, and that they had formed a unique and special emotional bond with him.

And it goes on to allege that the city had foreknowledge of problems with the junction box in question.

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The suit claims that FortisBC or one of its contractors compromised underground electrical works in in the area during a job in 2017, which eventually led to the electrification of the junction, and that shortly before Coby’s death more electrical work had been done in the area.

It alleges that in early 2017 another dog was shocked in the area, but suffered non-fatal injuries.

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The evening before Coby’s death, another dog was also exposed to electricity near the junction box and also suffered non-fatal injuries, the suit claims.

Witnesses at the time told Global News that parts of the area where the electrocution occurred had been taped off for construction for weeks.

“As a result of the first incident or second incident or both incidents, the city, FortisBC and/or Cobra Electric were aware, or ought to have been aware, of the danger of electrocution in relation to the junction box,” the suit claims.

“The conduct of the defendants … demonstrated a conscious and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others, including companion animals.”

In an emailed statement, FortisBC said it respects the judicial process, but would not comment with the matter before the courts.

Cobra Electric, a Surrey-based company that does traffic signal and street light work referred questions to the City of North Vancouver.

The City of North Vancouver said it has not yet been served with the suit and as such can not comment.

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