October 02

Real World Claims: Landscaper Sued for Utility Damage

A landscaping company is being sued by the telephone company over damages to phone cables.

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. LP, doing business as AT&T Texas, filed the suit against Encino Landscape Inc. on Sept. 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 30, 2008, Cleveland-based Encino Landscape was augering a hole in the ground next to a conduit run that had been exposed on Helena Avenue at State Highway 347 in Nederland.


Of the many risks encountered by landscaping operations day in and day out, damaging utilities is not a risk that would stick out in one’s mind. When we think about the exposures faced by Landscapers, they usually amount to damage of a client’s property, employee injury, or auto liability.

The story above serves as a useful reminder that accidents and claims are only limited by the imagination. The landscaper, Encino Landscaping, was augering an area near a conduit utilized by AT&T for phone and internet service. Augering is a process of drilling with an auger drill bit. The auger drill bit removes dirt from the hole as it drills down into the ground, making it a great tool for post hole digging. During the drilling process, a phone line was severed, which led to Encino being sued by AT&T.

As with any other type of construction related business, unintentional damage is bound to occur at one time or another. Should an accident happen, it’s important to have a program in place that’s designed specifically for the needs of Landscaping contractors.

For more information on Landscaping Insurance, visit LandPro / TreePro.

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