Claims Involving Damage to Underground Utilities
At the Irvine, California, law firm of Rippetoe Law, P.C., our attorneys handle cases related to underground utilities. As part of our construction law practice, we defend companies against claims involving underground utilities of all types. Most cases stem from allegations of damage to underground utilities caused by activity covered by Section 4216 of the California Government Code, such as excavation, digging, tunneling or underground boring activity.
Plaintiffs in Underground Utility Cases
Our lawyers defend against claims brought by any utility facilities owner that has underground pipes, cables or other equipment or facilities. Plaintiffs have included owners of electrical utilities, gas companies, telephone and communications companies, municipal sewers and television cable companies.
We have defended against damage claims initiated by plaintiffs that include municipalities, utility authorities and equipment owners. In each case, we analyze the evidence to determine compliance with all applicable codes by the facilities owner or business charged with locating the utilities before work commences. We consult with experts in the utility and construction industries.
How We Defend Against Utility Claims
Some of the questions that we ask when defending claims involving damage to underground utility facilities include these:
- Were all proper notifications made before work began?
- Was a 'dig ticket' obtained?
- Were the utilities properly marked by the utility owner or locator?
- Were the utilities properly located before work was begun?
- Which entity is charged with properly locating the utilities before work begins?
- Has the utility owner waived claims for damage by not properly complying with their requirements?
We thoroughly analyze and allocate responsibility when underground utilities are damaged by ongoing work. We bring in all necessary parties in order to properly allocate responsibility. We are familiar with the utility locating and marking standards applicable in California and proper field marking procedures by locators. This is a specialized type of work and the attorneys of our firm have a unique knowledge of this area.
Contact the attorneys at the Irvine, California, law firm of Rippetoe Law, P.C.. Call us at 949-852-0020 to discuss defending a claim brought by an underground utility owner.