Telecommunications company sues over severed fiber optic cable

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 2, 2011, 9:15am

TYLER - A New Jersey communications company has filed a lawsuit against a Longview construction company after the company severed a fiber optic cable while excavating.

MCI Communications Services Inc. filed suit against A&D Landworks on May 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

MCI is a telecommunications company which provides interstate services for individuals and commercial users. Through an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad, MCI possesses the rights to install and operate fiber optic cables in the railroad's right-of-way around Hallsville.

According to the lawsuit, Landworks was working without the knowledge or consent of MCI and was excavating with mechanized equipment on March 4, 2010. Landworks severed the fiber optic cable during the process.

The Longview company is accused of negligence for failing to notify the Texas notification center prior to excavation, failing to excavate in a careful and prudent manner, failing to determine location of all underground utilities, failing to maintain adequate clearance, failing to train and adequately supervise employees.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for loss of use of its cable, repair costs, punitive damages and interest.

MCI is represented by Devon D. Sharp of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:11-cv-00267

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