Individual Claims Filed for Damages to Business Owners on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands
If you own a business that suffered losses due to the Ocracoke and Hatteras blackout and are seeking compensation, we urge you to exercise the same due diligence you would when making any other critical financial decision for your business.
Some business owners may mistakenly believe that they are eligible only for the narrowly defined compensation PCL asks for on their claim form. Truth be known, you may be eligible for a whole lot more in actual damages – damages you may not have even considered.
Additional OBX Blackout Compensation
We are currently investigating individual claims (not class action claims) against PCL for damages for interference with business relations. Compensation may potentially include:
- Lost profits.
- Loss of repeat business and goodwill.
- Personal expenses incurred during evacuation (gas, hotel, food, etc.).
- Utility costs. For example, if you needed to re-cool a hotel or building after the power had been off for a week, it could take even more power to cool it down again.
- Closing and re-opening costs.
- Staffing issues. Did you have to pay your employees overtime to re-open? Did you pay staff for the week they were forced to evacuate? Or did you have to fill staffing voids of absent staff after the evacuation?
- Customer attrition during the following weeks.
- Bartering arrangements for which there is no actual monetary exchange.
If you or someone you know owns a business on Ocracoke or Hatteras Island and lost revenue due to the blackout, contact us immediately or call
What Happened on July 27th?
We know PCL was working under an “accelerated” schedule to finish the bridge. And we know they had the schematics of where the power lines were. We also know they accidentally cut the electrical lines to these islands. Based on our research and sources, we believe PCL was clearly negligent and is at fault for forcing tens of thousands of vacationers to evacuate.
Governor Roy Cooper apparently agrees. He stated in a WUNC interview,
"I hope that there is a way that people can be reimbursed. Clearly this was a company's fault, and I think that we should work hard to make sure people are made as whole as possible."
Outer Banks’ Busiest Time for Businesses
The blackout occurred right at the peak of the busy summer season when hundreds of businesses depend on revenues from the tens of thousands of tourists and vacationers who were visiting at the time. Per capita, Dare County is the #1 revenue producer in North Carolina, and Hatteras Island alone accounted for $204 million of that revenue in 2011.
Hyde County spokesman Donnie Shumate stated in a USA Today interview about Ocracoke’s situation, “The island was at capacity when all this went down, and this is usually the busiest time of the year. It will be a major hit economically depending on how long it lasts."
Governor Cooper who referred to these islands as the “crown jewel in our state,” declared a state of emergency.
While many businesses are still struggling from the devastation left by Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Arthur in 2014, this latest setback may have been the last blow for some businesses. No business is immune – from surf shops, fishing charters and tackle shops, to hotels, gift shops, vacation rental agencies, restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores.
Why We Will File Individual Claims vs a Class Action
Many businesses may mistakenly believe their damages will automatically be covered by a class action claim. Unfortunately, this belief may not be correct and here are two reasons to be skeptical.
- Class certification can be a long and difficult process
- Class members only recover damages that are common to the class
It is likely to take at least six months before any action is taken on class certification. Afterward, any decision is likely to be appealed.
There are legal hurdles under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that may prevent class certification. Although the statute of limitations is tolled (suspended) for claims within the class, your right to make some claims may expire while you are waiting for certification.
Hotels, gas stations, fishing charters, rental agencies, restaurants, and surf shops are all likely to have a variety of different damages. In a class action, all those represented in the class must file for the same type of damages. For example, all hotels may have a class claim for loss of room revenue.
Benefits of Filing Individual Claims
We believe filing an individual claim gives you the best chance at the maximum recovery for your unique circumstances.
- Each individual is allowed to present their FULL damages for recovery, not just the damages that are common to the class representatives.
- We will seek designation as an exceptional case and petition for a Rule 2.1 judge, which can designate a case as exceptional or complex.
- We can band the cases together for certain administrative processes and discovery, saving costs and expenses.
Get North Carolina Lawyers to Review Your Outer Banks Blackout Claim
We are taking calls for Outer Banks blackout claims now. If you or someone you know owns a business and lost money because of the blackout on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. You could potentially receive compensation for your losses.
Reduced Fee for OBX Blackout Clients
We’re offering a reduced 20% contingency fee for uncontested blackout claims. You pay us nothing up front and nothing if we do not recover for you.
If your case becomes adversarial (in other words, if PCL contests the terms), our fee will be the customary one-third (plus costs incurred, if any). We are thoroughly prepared to fight for you in the courtroom, but generally negligence cases do not go all the way to trial. Usually we are able to settle with the insurance companies or in mediation before trial.
If you would like to talk to someone about your unique
circumstances, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.