Major Telephone Company – Appellate Win That May Benefit Utility Companies Throughout New York City
Successfully defended a major telephone company against claims brought by a New York City contractor seeking several million dollars in fees for “interference work” under a municipal contract. Our client challenged the interpretation of a common law rule related to interference work, although many contractors had been utilizing this interpretation for years in order to obtain payments for this work from the utilities. This Appellate Division decision affirmed the correct interpretation of the common law which only allows the City (and not a private contractor), when utilizing its police powers, to require payment from utilities for protection or relocation of its facilities. Going forward, utilities may have substantial sums that they were previously led to believe that they were responsible.