July 31, 2017, Salisbury NC – The Wallace and Graham law firm in Salisbury, NC, working with other attorneys in North and South Carolina, has announced the filing of a lawsuit against PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. regarding the catastrophic power outage which hit part of the North Carolina Outer Banks July 27th during peak tourist season. The lawsuit was filed in Dare County Superior Court.
The power outage was caused when, according to news reports, PCL drove a steel casing through underground transmission cables as part of a project to replace the Bonner Bridge. Thousands of community members in the Hatteras and Ocracoke areas have lost power. Tens of thousands of residents and tourists have had to evacuate.
The lawsuit is brought on behalf of affected individuals and businesses. Those suing include Briggs McEwan, whose local pizza and home rental business in Rodanthe claims to have lost thousands of dollars already. Another Plaintiff, Tami Lynette Gray of Frisco, claims that her charter boating business has suffered significant losses, as well.
“For people in the Hatteras and Ocracoke areas, this outage is causing significant harm. We have moved quickly to seek to make our clients’ voices heard in this ongoing crisis and obtain judicial relief,” states Mona Lisa Wallace of Wallace and Graham, P.A.
PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. lists a principal office in Raleigh, NC on its website. In addition, the lawsuit names two other PCL affiliates. According to the lawsuit, PCL markets itself as having special expertise on bridge replacement projects. The work is being performed under a contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The goal is to replace the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet from Bodie Island to Hatteras Island. The estimated cost of the project is $250 million or more.
The bridge spans nearly three miles. The complaint alleges that in order to win the contract, PCL claimed it could save $60 million or more by working under an accelerated schedule. The lawsuit claims that in the process of trying to proceed with the work, the power lines were cut.
The affected power transmission cables go near and under the south side of the Bonner Bridge. The underground lines carry electricity to the island coastal communities from mainland Dare County.
Dennis Rose and Peebles Harrison of the law firm of Rose Harrison & Gilreath, and Cheryl Perkins and Jim Gilreath of law firms in South Carolina, are also assisting with the matter. Mr. Rose comments that “as a firm representing clients in the Outer Banks area, we can tell you that this power outage could not have happened at a worse time. We are getting calls from local residents and business owners who have been damaged in a variety of ways.”