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$10.5M settlement reached in OBX power outage lawsuit

HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. – A $10.53 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against the construction company responsible for damaging a power cable that caused a massive power outage on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

On July 27, 2017, during construction of the new Bonner Bridge, the construction company, PCL Construction, drove a steel casing into the underground transmission cable that runs between the south end of the bridge and the overhead riser pole, causing the transmission outage.

The outage left nearly 10,000 customers in the dark and triggered a mandatory evacuation for any visitors to the islands at the height of tourist season. Power was fully restored and the evacuations were lifted on August 4.

The Wallace and Graham law firm in Salisbury, N.C. sued PCL Civil Constructors, Inc., the contractor for the project, in a class action lawsuit.

According to court documents obtained by affiliate WTKR, the settlement resolves litigation over whether PCL violated state law. PCL denies they did anything wrong or unlawful and denies any liability in the incident.

Business owners, permanent residents or anyone who rented or rented out vacation property on Hatteras or Ocracoke Islands may be eligible to receive benefits from the proposed settlement if it is approved.

If approved, claim forms will be available for submission in order to receive benefits.

Stay with CBS 6 for updates on the settlement.