T&D, Transmission

Jury awards developer $1.8 million against Oncor Electric

Ft. Worth, Texas, December 21, 2010 — A Tarrant County jury has ordered Oncor Electric Delivery Co. to pay nearly $1.8 million to Arlington-based Giovanni Homes Corp. after the utility provider stalled efforts to develop several properties in Fort Worth by delaying the relocation of a power line.

At issue in the case was an Oncor underground power line that ran through the center of property that Giovanni Homes had purchased for commercial use. Trial testimony indicated that Oncor agreed to relocate the line but waited nearly two years before moving it.

Giovanni Homes sued Oncor for unlawful trespass and breach of contract. On Dec. 16, a jury in the 48th District Court in Fort Worth found in favor of Giovanni Homes and awarded the company nearly $1.2 million in actual damages and more than $575,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Oncor is the nation’s sixth-largest transmission and distribution company.

Those delays — Giovanni Homes claimed and the jury agreed — injured the developer’s relationships with banks and also cost Giovanni Homes lost profits, interest and actual damages.

Also representing Giovanni Homes were attorneys William Allred, Amy Agnew and Cynthia Goosen from Dallas’ Cooper & Scully PC.