PHILADELPHIA – According to court records, Verizon Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia have settled litigation concerning a 2015 water main break, an incident that Verizon had claimed damaged its electrical conduits and copper cables at a Philadelphia intersection.
A settlement order dated Nov. 1 from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas’ Arbitration Center noted the case was settled and that it was both to be marked “discontinued” on the prothonotary’s docket and removed from the applicable list and inventory of pending cases. Further, the case would only be able to be restored to the arbitration list by judicial order and motion from the Motion Program Judge.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Verizon Pennsylvania, LLC of Basking Ridge, N.J. first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against the City on Feb. 3, 2017.
“On or about July 27, 2015, a water main, owned and controlled by the defendant, the City of Philadelphia, broke at Academy Road and Convent Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, causing Academy Road to collapse, damaging Verizon’s conduit and destroying its copper cable,” Verizon’s suit claimed.
Verizon alleged the City’s negligence in maintaining the water main created the type of dangerous condition of streets that could have foretold this type of injury and that on Sept. 17, 2015, it placed the City on notice of the claim in accordance with statutory requirements.
Verizon said it incurred repair costs of $29,048.82 to repair the conduit, cable, wires and telecommunications facilities, and quoted City Code Section 11-705 that “a Licensee or City agency shall be liable for damage that it, or a person working for it, causes to the right-of-way or to any property or facilities owned or used by the City, other Licensees, or other users of the right-of-way, and shall promptly repair or reimburse the City for damage to the right-of-way, and promptly reimburse the owner of the damaged facilities for damages thereto.”
The City later denied being negligent in maintaining the water main prior to its break and that it was on notice of the main’s poor condition. Further, the City claimed immunity from suit in this matter per the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, that the plaintiff failed to give the City six months’ written notice of the claim as required by law, that any recovery in the event of the City’s liability was to be reduced or eliminated in accordance with the Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Act and the suit was barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
Prior to settlement, and due to counts of negligence and nuisance, the plaintiff was seeking damages of $29,048.82, plus costs, attorney’s fees and other relief.
The plaintiff was represented by Andrew L. Salvatore, in West Chester.
The defendant was represented by Michael Karasik of the Deputy City Solicitor’s Office, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170104968
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com