Judge approves $10.35 million power outage settlement

Published 12:26 am Sunday, May 6, 2018

A federal judge overseeing the class action filed against PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. and PCL Construction Enterprises, Inc. granted preliminary approval to a $10.35 million settlement to compensate businesses, vacationers and residents of the Ocracoke and Hatteras islands who were affected by the power outage beginning on July 27, 2017.

Those impacted may receive 100 percent of their total economic damages caused by the outage. If additional funds are available, class members may receive up to 20 percent of their total losses to compensate for their non-economic damages, such as suffering and inconvenience.

Additionally, businesses may opt to receive a flat sum of $2,500 upon a showing of a valid business tax ID number and a written statement of economic loss incurred.

The outage, caused by contractor working on the Bonner Bridge project at the height of the summer season, led to the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from Ocracoke and Hatteras for days.

“We are pleased that the court recognized the tremendous effort put into settling the case so that those on Hatteras and Ocracoke can start to receive much needed relief in advance of the summer tourist season,” says Dan Bryson, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Now that the court has preliminarily approved the settlement, claims can begin to be paid and information will soon be sent to class members about the settlement benefits. Potential class members will soon be able to visit the settlement website, www.obxsettlement.com, for more information. The court is scheduled to hold a final hearing to decide whether to grant final approval on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.