City reaches $78,000 settlement with Florida Gas Transmission over pipeline damage

The city of Ocala reached a $78,000 settlement with Florida Gas Transmission in a general liability case that saw damage to a pipeline that services a major portion of south Florida.

The claim dates back to an incident on April 16, 2018 in which a high pressure natural gas pipeline was damaged by Ocala Electric Utility crews that were placing street lights along NW 44th Avenue. The crews drilled into the line, resulting in the need for emergency crews to be dispatched to make repairs and keep the line pressurized during the process.

Resolution 2020-3 provides for the city to settle the “entire general liability claim of Florida Gas Transmission,” in order to “avoid the costs of litigation, as well as the likelihood that the City would ultimately be held liable for some, if not all of the damages alleged,” according to a letter of recommendation from Gilligan and City Manager John Zobler.

Florida Gas Transmission originally submitted an invoice totaling $157,285.35, to which the city agreed to pay half, or $78,642.68, per City Attorney Patrick Gilligan’s recommendation.

According to the resolution, the Risk Management Department will take the next steps in issuing payment on behalf of the city.