High-speed internet provider MetroNet was ordered to halt installation of fiber optic cables by the city of Carmel after the company ruptured 14 gas lines. The city of Fishers issued a similar order to MetroNet after they ruptured six gas lines in the city. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission opened an investigation into MetroNet, focusing on the contractors that are hired by the company to dig trenches for fiber optic cable. Many residents had to wait for hours before they could enter their homes after it was discovered that a pipeline had been ruptured in their neighborhood. Because the damage to the pipes was caused by the contractors hired by MetroNet, the IURC has no authority to issue a fine or punishment against MetroNet, however they will investigate and determine whether or not the contractor broke the law and who is at fault. Citizens Action Coalition, a utility watchdog group and state senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) are pushing to change the law so that utilities can be held accountable for the actions of who they hire, including the subcontractors and construction crews. These incidents are not new for MetroNet. The Evansville based company, which operates mostly in central Indiana, faced similar complaints in the last three years. Two years ago, the city of Westfield ordered MetroNet to stop work when they ruptured gas lines and struck other utilities four times while excavating.
Unfortunately, these incidents are not isolated to just one company, construction crews striking underground utilities can happen about three or four times a year, according to the Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. With the passing of new laws designed to hold any company performing construction responsible for their subcontractors’ actions, these numbers may go down. If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of construction in your neighborhood or on your property, please contact the experienced legal team at Schiller Law Offices by calling 888-578-3100 or visiting indyinjured.com for a free case assessment and evaluation.