months after a week-long power outage plunged Hatteras and Ocracoke
Islands into darkness during the heart of tourist season, Dare County
and PCL Construction are still sparring over an unresolved claim.
ill-timed blackout occurred when power lines were accidently severed by
PCL Construction workers conducting replacement work on the Herbert C.
Bonner Bridge. At the time, there were reports of businesses losing as
much as $50,000 a week due to the accident.
its Nov. 5 meeting, the Dare County Board of Commissioners went into
closed session in reference to “Dare County v. PCL Civil Construction,”
a matter County Manager Bobby Outten said has not yet been resolved. In
this case, the county has asked for approximately $403,000 in lost tax
revenue it incurred during the power outage.
When reached for comment this week, Outten said only that the county was “still working with attorneys to resolve” the dispute.
an estimated $4.1 million has been paid out to claimants who suffered
financial losses during the outage. Earlier this year, a U.S. District
Court judge granted approval of a class action settlement for PCL
Construction to provide $10.35 million, minus attorney fees, to
businesses, vacationers and residents who were impacted by the mishap
and power outage. Deadline to file a claim was Oct. 15.
attorney Patrick Wallace, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the
class action lawsuit, told the Sentinel that the $4.1 million figure
was preliminary and that the settlement administrator has a little more
than 100 claims left to process. While there are a total of 482 claims
outstanding, Wallace noted that 365 of them are for a subrogation
company that paid vacationers’ insurance benefits.
expect to finish the claims administration process shortly,” Wallace
asserted, noting that Dare County is not part of the class action suit.
her part, PCL’s manager of U.S. Communications Stephanie McCay said she
“can’t comment on the claims process.” She also added that, in regard
to the outstanding matter with Dare County, “the only thing we can
disclose is that it is being handled by insurance – whoever is handling
the claims process.”
The adjusting firm of Crawford and Company has been processing the claims.