Bellsouth and AT&T sue excavation company for alleged damage to underground utilities

By Kyle Barnett | Jun 10, 2015

GRETNA – A telecommunications provider is suing a St. Charles Parish-based drilling company claiming it damaged underground utilities during an excavation job.

Bellsouth Telecommunications LLC and AT&T Louisiana filed suit against Rodney Smith and S&S Drilling in Orleans Parish Civil District Court on May 1.

Bellsouth alleges that on Aug. 19, 2014 it discovered damage at Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. The plaintiffs contends Smith and S&S Drilling were undertaking excavation and boring work in the area and failed to notify them, as required under law about the work, at least 48 hours before it was undertaken to determine if any utilities were located in the area. Bellsouth asserts that due to the failure of Smith and S&S Drilling to determine if utilities were located inter work area communications lines were destroyed and services to customers were disrupted. The plaintiffs further claim they incurred increased costs by needing to repair the damaged utility lines.

The defendant is accused of property damage.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for compensation, attorney’s fees and legal costs.

Bellsouth Telecommunications and AT&T Louisiana are represented by Michael B. Alker of Mandeville-based Sutton, Alker & Rather LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Paulette R. Irons.

Case no. 2015-03433.

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