Five fiber cuts near Florida’s Lion Country Safari resulted in a lawsuit filed by Crown Castle

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

CROWN CASTLE IS ROARING MAD over its fiber optic cables being damaged near Lion Country Safari in South Florida. An underground utility contractor caused damage on five separate occasions.

CROWN CASTLE IS ROARING MAD over damage to its fiber optic cables near Lion Country Safari in South Florida. An underground utility contractor caused damage on five separate occasions and is now facing a lawsuit.

Near the renowned Lion Country Safari in South Florida, Crown Castle Fiber LLC (Crown Castle) has laid miles of crucial fiber optic cables along the bustling State Road 80. A lawsuit recently filed in the Southern District of Florida reveals a disturbing pattern — underground utility contractor DP Development, LLC (DPD) has not only caused significant damage but has done so on five separate occasions.

Crown Castle filed a complaint against DPD, established in 2006, alleging that the company had caused significant damage to its fiber optic cables during excavation activities on Route 80 in Palm Beach County.

According to the lawsuit, on April 27, 2020, DPD was excavating along the highway, about 20 miles west of Lion Country Safari Road (LCSR), when it struck and damaged Crown Castle’s fiber optic cables on SR 80.

Three days later, DPD allegedly damaged more cables about 1,000 feet west of LCSR on SR80.

On May 8, 2020, at approximately 850 feet west of LCSR, DPD again tore into Crown Castle’s SR80 cables.

On May 13, 2020, DPD was again accused of damaging Crown Castle’s fiber optic system approximately 4,500 feet west of LCSR on SR80

Crown reportedly contacted DPD regarding the incidents, but the complaint does not address what was resolved.

However, almost a year later, on March 25, 2021, DPD allegedly cut into Crown Castle’s fiber optic cables again that were located on SR 80, about 4,000 feet east of LCSR.

Crown Castle asserts that the locations of their facilities were marked correctly, and DPD should have been aware of their presence.

Crown Castle is seeking compensation for actual damages that exceed a substantial amount of $75,000.

Additionally, they are requesting punitive damages to deter any future similar conduct, underlining the urgency and importance of the matter.

Crown Castle files another lawsuit in Texas over fiber optic cable damage

Crown Castle has also initiated legal action against Nery’s Underground, LLC, filing a complaint for negligence and trespass in the Harris County, Texas Civil Court.

The complaint arises from an incident on May 5, 2022, where Crown Castle alleges that Nery’s Underground conducted excavation activities without due diligence, resulting in substantial damage to Crown Castle’s telecommunications cable.

The cable, situated on property that Crown Castle had the rights to occupy, was severely affected.
According to the lawsuit, Nery’s Underground flagrantly disregarded the requirements of Chapter 251 of the Texas Utilities Code, commonly known as the ‘Texas Dig Law.’

This law stipulates that excavators must notify a notification center at least forty-eight hours before commencing any excavation activities and must specify the area of the planned work.

The complaint asserts that Nery’s Underground began excavation without following these regulations and struck the underground communications cable.

Crown Castle further claims that Nery’s Underground failed to use hand tools to expose the cable within the tolerance zone, opting instead for mechanized equipment, which led to the damage.

Crown Castle asserts that Nery’s Underground’s actions led to damages amounting to $14,550.56 for necessary repairs and violated several statutory duties under Texas law.