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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117371
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Digging my backyard pool, excavator t an unmarked electric

Customer Question

digging my backyard pool, excavator hit an unmarked electric line. I confirmed the contractor called utility locating service. the power company had no record of the line initially, which does not serve my home. They later found a blanket easement agreement with the developer (no location was specified) which they say allows them to put their line "anywhere" they need. As a minimum, are they responsible for the damage/site restoration in my yard since they did not mark their line prior to excavation as requested?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they are since your contractor did what he was supposed to do: "call before digging." You can make a request for them to pay for damages/restoration. This may not be easy, but you should ultimately prevail. You may have to take them to Court to force them to do the right thing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a state or federal law I can cite? I'm in south Carolina. So far, the SCANA/ SC Electric & Gas seems to be exempt from most requirements I've researched.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I do not have any case law to cite. So, I will opt out and give another Attorney the opportunity to further assist you.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR and look forward to working with you to provide you information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
SC uses the common law of negligence in this type of situation, not a statute (there is no state or federal statute for this). If the developer gave a blanket easement and the utility company laid a line without marking or recording the location, then they are liable if that line gets damaged to repair the line when the person digging did as required by calling dig safe to check line locations. So this is not case law, it is common law of negligence and failure to provide you notice and as the dig safe was called and there was no record of this line and blanket easement, the utility company and developer can be jointly liable for not recording the easement location and for the utility company not having proper records of where their lines are.

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