Lawsuit filed in Marion County after illegal excavation led to electrocution of two people

Electrocution Graphic
Electrocution Graphic(Source: Associated Press)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 3:20 PM CDT
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MARION COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has filed an “Iowa One Call” lawsuit in Marion County after a contractor allegedly conducted an illegal excavation that led to the deaths of two people.

The Iowa One Call law requires anyone who digs, excavated, or trenches privately or commercially to first contact the Iowa One Call center to locate and avoid damaging underground utilities.

On August 1st, 2020, a MCS Communications crew hit an electrical line with a jackhammer in Marion County. Hitting the line resulted in the electrocution of two employees and the injury of a third. Other excavations by the contractor reportedly damaged natural gas pipelines and a telecommunications line.

MCS agreed to resolve the matter with a consent decree, wherein the company admitted to the violations and agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty in addition to injunctive relief prohibiting future violations.

The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several citations to MCS. The company paid a $12,250 penalty as a result.

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