Philadelphia Skyline

When You Dig for Dirt, Sometimes You Get Messy

I am almost hesitant to write up this good little story. My pause comes from the fact that I like to brand my firm as doing almost exclusively landlord and tenant litigation. Branding one’s self with a durable niche is good for business! But, here, perhaps I will expose a secret – we still do some regular commercial litigation.

A construction contractor, who here we will call XYZ[1] Contracting Corp. was hired by New York City to install a new water-main along Queens Boulevard and at other various locations. RCN (our client) is a telecommunications provider of internet, telephone and television services to customers in New York City. RCN runs subterranean cables throughout New York City to provide phone, video and data to its customers.

On August 20, 2015, XYZ Contracting Corp. personnel were seen cutting the road along the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Yellowstone Boulevard on the Westbound Traffic service road. While working in this location, XYZ cut through RCN’s underground facilities that was marked “SHALLOW COVER”. As a result of the cut caused by XYZ, RCN suffered $73,482 in damages, the cost of fixing the damaged fiber at the site.

Itkowitz PLLC filed a negligence complaint against XYZ, suing for damages of $73,482. XYZ defaulted on the complaint and we moved for a default judgment. On August 7, 2019, we obtained a judgment for $100,339, inclusive of the damage claim plus interest and costs. We then enlisted the marshal to execute on the equipment of the contractor. When the contractor learned of the marshal’s intention to sell his equipment at auction, the contractor quickly settled the case, offering to pay the judgment in three equal payments by wire. The contractor made the payments and the case concluded.

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle Itkowitz

[1] Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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