Another damage situation.
At first I was going to post for advice, then I decided my action, so I didn't. But the other adult (I feel the need to point out that no children or animals were involved! LOL!), just made a comment that brought this situation up. So I'd like to ask EHellions' take on the situation.
Last week, a neighbor asked me plant some mums for her in her yard. She doesn't garden, just does minor maintenance. I garden and have planted things for her before, on her request.
When I got to her place on the appointed day and time, she wanted to help and asked what she could do. I said I needed to change into some old clothes I brought, and that while I was changing she could put the potted mums were she wanted them planted. She lined them up every couple of feet in front of the shrubbery in front of her house.
She asked again to help so I showed her how to move the pot aside and scrape the mulch aside thus creating the bare spot of dirt for me to start digging in. We got started and had a a good "production line" going. Pretty quickly in the first hole I hit a root (less than 1/2 inch in diameter, if that) and asked her for pruning shears (one of the few gardening things she does is pruning, so I knew she had shears). She brought the shears, I cut the root out of the way and we were back to business. Form then on, she would rush in to cut any root.
We were at the sixth, and last hole, when, like she had at other holes, she threw up her hand with the palm facing me (universal signal to stop) and with the pruners. moved to the hole. She didn't say anything and I didn't say anything. I didn't see anything due to a pile of dirt. I stepped to the side and stretched. When I turned back, I was at a different angle and saw what she was cutting.
I said "That's an oddly flat root." "STOP!". She was cutting an underground electrical wire!!
I looked it over and said it looked like only the thick plastic sheathing had been cut. I asked for electrical tape and
twisted the tape around it. We shoveled the direct back on and that was it.
Neither one of us thought to check the light (her light for the walkway from the sidewalk to her house) then, but the next time I was there (next day or two) she told me that the light didn't work. Another neighbor had told her that it had been installed incorrectly and that any underground wiring should be within a conduit (special metal or thick PVC tubes for electrical wires, we now know). She also told me a story about how a year or two ago, another neighbor had changed the light fixture and found that the original electrician had driven a nail directly thru one of the wires
. That neighbor had said then that the original electrician had done a bad job. She was going to have a friend who is a licensed electrician fix it for her. She mentioned that she hoped it wouldn't cost too much.
All I said was something like "Really? I didn't see the actual wiring cut. Just the plastic. I'm sorry to hear that". I didn't offer to pay.
I'll post the epilogue in a bit, but for now, I'll stop here and ask y'all should I offer to pay?