Jun 04, 2022 | Uncategorized

Conrad & Scherer Representing Coral Springs Businesses In Gas Outage Class-Action Lawsuit

Founding Partner of Fort Lauderdale-based, Conrad & Scherer, William R. Scherer, Jr., along with Co-counsel Adam Moskowitz, have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages on behalf of more than 120 Coral Springs businesses impacted by a May 13th gas line rupture.

The Coral Springs restaurant, The Cook and The Cork, is leading the lawsuit, which indicates that the businesses suffered, “Extensive economic damages” due to the gas outage. The civil court complaint, which was filed in Broward County, states that the gas line rupture was caused by negligence on the part of Acosta Tractors, a company based in Hialeah Gardens. The company’s drilling procedure caused a 6-inch gas line on Wiles Road to rupture. The suit states that Acosta caused the rupture, while blindly drilling underground, without carrying out proper and requisite soft digging; and other safe practices, to ensure the exact physical location of the gas line.

Customers, primarily businesses; were left without gas service during the business restaurant dinner rush, with some losing power for more than a day. The busy Wiles Road was disrupted while the gas line was shut off and crews made repairs. The affected gas line feeds University Drive, from Wiles Road to Southgate Boulevard and over to Coral Springs Drive.

The lawsuit also points out that Acosta Tractors accidentally hit the same gas line two other times; first on Nov 15, 2021, and again on Jan 27, 2022, and alleges that the company should have known their drilling tactics were insufficient to such avoid accidents.

Wings Plus and Tavolino Della Notte were among the other restaurants unable to adequately serve customers during the outage. Without gas, chefs turned to mobile catering stations and other alternatives to serve hungry customers but lost significant revenue in the process.

This same legal team recently won a positive verdict in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 9,200 area businesses negatively affected by a punctured water main on July 17, 2019, that forced many of these companies to close for several days.

The weeklong trial resulted in the jurors finding Florida Communications Concepts (FCC), a Wellington-based company, 98% liable for drilling a 6-inch hole in a 42-inch water main at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

According to Scherer, “The contractor could be forced to pay out tens of millions in damages.” He explained that losses range in size, depending on the business; but included The Las Olas Company, Press & Grind, Rocco’s Tacos, the Harbor Beach Marriott, and Di Pietro Partners law firm. An estimated 220,000 residents and businesses in seven cities and Port Everglades had to endure a boil water order for up to three days.