Six class action lawsuits against PCL
Construction were combined into just one lawsuit in federal court
late last week.
Chief Judge James Dever III of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the
ruling, noting that the lawsuits were inherently similar in nature.
The Court’s Order stated that the
lawsuits “assert one or more similar claims arising out of the
power outage affecting Ocracoke and Hatteras, North Carolina, and
reflect one or more common issues of fact or law.”
The court also appointed a team of
lawyers to go forward with the claims, which included Whitfield
Bryson & Mason LLP of Raleigh, the Zaytoun Law Firm of Raleigh,
and Wallace & Graham, P.A. of Salisbury N.C., as the Interim
A steering committee was also appointed
of the Law Office of Jean Sutton Martin, PLLC, Morgan & Morgan
Complex Litigation Group, McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, Hendren,
Redwine & Malone, PLLC, Rose Harrison & Gilreath, P.C., and
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP.
The Order also sets an initial status
conference in the Federal Courthouse in Raleigh to occur on December
18, 2017, per a statement by Kill Devil Hills firm Rose, Harrison &
Deadlines and upcoming hearing dates
will be established at the December 18 conference.
The lawsuit stems from the roughly
week-long power outage that caused a mandatory evacuation for
Hatteras and Ocracoke Island visitors during peak season, beginning
on July 27. The outage was due to an accidentally cut cable on the
southern edge of the Bonner Bridge construction site.
The lawsuit seeks to recoup as much as
$16 million dollars.
Alternatively, PCL Construction also
set up a website in order for residents, businesses and vacationers
to file a claim directly. It is not known how many people have
submitted a claim through the site,
however there have been mixed responses from locals who have
submitted a claim, with many indicating they had received payment,
and others noting that they had not received a check from PCL yet as
of late September / early October.
In order to ensure an outage won’t
happen again as the Bonner Bridge project continues into late 2018,
CHEC representatives at an August public meeting noted that overhead
lines were installed to ensure there was no chance a piling could be
accidently driven into an underground line.
The overhead lines also make potential
repairs much easier, as no sub-contractor or special equipment is
needed to proceed – an issue that contributed to the eight-day
Questions regarding claims with PCL can
be directed to the PCL Outer Banks Claim Team at 844-402-8570.