Isa telephone companyresponsibleif their pole snaps and damagesa house?

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Isa telephone companyresponsibleif their pole snaps and damagesa house?

I live in a development that has 2 telephone company owned poles on it. Our home backs to a main road where the wires (electric, phone, cable) cross over to the other side of the road. Several months back a truck (this is an assumption because nobody stopped) hit the wires crossing the road and snapped the poles. One of the pole pieces hit and damaged our house. The telephone company’s insurer is claiming that a cable company line was responsible, therefore they aren’t responsible. In the week prior to this incident, our telephone lines were ripped down twice from our house due to the same type issue.

Asked on April 23, 2011 under Business Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the phone company was negligent, or unreasonably careless in some way. If they were, then they may be liable--though if they won't pay voluntarily, you'll have to sue them (and win) to collect, which has its own costs.

If the wires were set too low, which may be the case from what you write, that may be evidence of negligence; i.e. if would have been reasonable to have set them higher to avoid trucks, the failure to do so may be negligence. And of the poles were not set in the ground well, or had been damage (from being pulled on previously?) and not properly repaired, that could also be negligence. The key thing is, you must be able to point to and prove telephone company fault, since without fault, there is no liability.


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