• Opportunity:  Our client was a federally regulated interstate natural gas pipeline company with over 6,500 miles of transmission lines, including significant lines in the state of Florida. A large part of the Florida lines were located on an easement negotiated with the Florida Turnpike Authority in the 1950s. Over the years following the installation of the original transmission lines, Florida experienced significant population growth leading to an equally significant upgrade of transportation infrastructure. One of those upgrades was the continuing widening of the turnpike to accommodate more and more traffic. Eventually, the widening began to interfere with pipeline operations resulting in the need to relocate approximately eleven miles of pipeline in a populous area of Broward County. Our client brought an action against the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) seeking reimbursement of the substantial costs of moving its pipeline from where it had been located for decades to a new location at the edge of the Turnpike right of way. Construction conditions in the new area were difficult and required the use of expensive and non-typical construction techniques. The company incurred over $120 million in relocation costs during the relocation project. The FDOT declined to reimburse the costs and a suit was brought seeking the cost of relocating the pipeline less the value of having a new pipeline installed.
  • Solution: After the completion of significant discovery, including the discovery of construction cost claims exceeding $120 million, the case was tried in front of a jury for almost a month. The complicated damages case was presented with a mix of knowledgeable company witnesses and outside auditors.
  • Result: The jury found that the FDOT had breached an agreement and required that our client receive full reimbursement for damages costing $82,697,567. After the judgment was affirmed on appeal, the judgment was satisfied by a payment from the FDOT exceeding $100 million.