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Heyl Royster

 

Practices

UTILITIES

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Defending a utilities case presents unique issues for the attorneys and client. With high energy costs, utility providers typically start with a disadvantage before a jury or other fact finder. Our philosophy of intensive development and implementation of creative litigation strategies achieves successful results. 

Our lawyers have significant experience in a number of areas involving utility and energy litigation. Electrical contact cases, pipeline issues, telecommunications and easement matters are some illustrations. Working closely with the client, in-house engineers and retained expert witnesses, we have obtained excellent results for our clients.

Significant Cases

  • Vezena v. Cornbelt Electric Not guilty verdict for electrical co-op when lineman fell from allegedly defective pole resulting in paralysis.
  • Neff v. Western Illinois Electric Not guilty verdict on trespass claim against electric utility that cut down 122 trees on plaintiffs' property.
  • Yeaman v. Shelby Electric Cooperative Obtained not guilty verdict in double wrongful death against electrical co-op where a 38-year-old farmer and 14-year-old nephew moved auger into power line near grain bins.
  • Ratermann v. Tri-County Elec. Co-op., Inc. 229 Ill. 2d 658, 897 N.E.2d 263, 325 Ill. Dec. 15 (Jury Trial, Marion County, 2009) Not guilty verdict for electric utility where plaintiffs claimed a power surge resulted in a home fire. Plaintiffs relied upon res ipsa loquitor and plaintiffs' cause and origin expert maintained there was physical evidence of a massive high voltage surge of electricity causing simultaneous fires in two breaker panels.