Court dismisses $12 Million lawsuit against telecommunications client of the firm

Tuesday August 13, 2019

Merit Network, Inc. v AMcomm Telecommunications, Inc.

David Timmis and David Houbeck obtained summary disposition with prejudice on behalf of their client, a successful and distinguished telecommunications company, in a lawsuit in which the Plaintiff alleged $12 million dollars in damages related to the construction of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable across northern Michigan. The Plaintiff alleged that the outdoor construction of aerial and underground fiber optic cable performed by the Defendant was defective.

Mr. Timmis and Mr. Houbeck successfully argued that the Defendant’s installation of the fiber optic network was exemplary, as evidenced by the fact that the Plaintiff had inspected, approved and paid for the work. The Plaintiff also monitored the telecommunications network for years but did not set forth any criticisms of the Defendant’s workmanship.

Mr. Timmis and Mr. Houbeck also successfully argued that the parties’ contract included a limitation of action provision which prohibited the Plaintiff from alleging defective workmanship approximately five years after construction, including after the fiber optic cable and equipment had been subjected to the extreme weather conditions of Northern Michigan for more than five years. Further, since it is common in the telecommunications industry for other utility companies to move and rearrange existing equipment on utility poles, a limitation of action provision is an industry standard. Ultimately, the Court was persuaded by the arguments set forth on behalf of the Defendant and dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims in their entirety.

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