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Ergon says bats caused live high-voltage wire to fall on car

Kevin Farmer

A TOOWOOMBA shop worker is ready to take on Ergon Energy after the company claimed a disoriented bat caused a high-voltage powerline to fall and damage her car.

Sherrin Mann had just arrived for her shift at Cindy's Convenience Store when the lights turned black and she heard a cracking noise coming from the street.

A live wire had fallen directly on her car.

Just five minutes earlier, she and her seven-week-old daughter were sitting inside.

The broken wire scratched the front and side of her car but, at that stage, it was the least of her worries.

She and her employers waited for Ergon to cut off the power and find out what had caused the collapse.

"When the linesman came, he told us there was something wrong with the connector at the top of the pole," Ms Mann said.

By the next day, the story had really changed.

After having no luck trying to get Ergon to admit guilt over the phone, Ms Mann waited for a letter from the company's Liability Claims Office to arrive by email.

A letter from Ergon Energy stating that Sherrin Mann had her car scratched and damaged when a bat caused a electrical power line to fall.
A letter from Ergon Energy stating that Sherrin Mann had her car scratched and damaged when a bat caused a electrical power line to fall. Kevin Farmer

She could not believe her eyes.

"We confirm that bats impacted equipment on the electricity distribution network," the letter read.

"This damaged equipment then failed bringing down power lines which landed on the Holden Barina."

It further stated it was a circumstance "outside the control of Ergon Energy" and "not due to any fault or neglect".

"Ergon Energy denies any liability with respect to these matters."

It must have been some bat.

"We went straight out and there was no bat there," Ms Mann said.

"We don't even get bats in this area.

"They never asked any of the witnesses what happened - they just sent me this letter."

Ms Mann estimated about $2000 was done to her two-year-old car.

"It's not really about the money any more," she said.

"It would have been nice if they even came to talk to me about it."

Topics:  car damage ergon energy insurance liability toowoomba



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