My question involves real estate located in the State of: Montana
Facts: Highway adjacent to our property widened in 2006. Dept. of Transportation purchased some of our land. Telephone with Qwest was moved to highway right of way.
May 2010: Called for a locate to dig fencepost holes to separate pasture. Gas line (only utility) located. Project started.
Sept. 2010: Project continued. Hit buried telephone cable on my property. Company sent us a bill for $7,300+ for damages. This cable is buried under our property without our permission or easement.
Oct. 2010: Called for specific locate of phone cable. Told by 2 locators no phone cable on property. Insisted; they marked it- -a section is clearly on our property.
We initiated contact to resolve this matter and have made no progress in 8 months. Claims dept. is a sub-contractor. Engineer said he would give matter to right-of-way agent 3 months ago; no response. We feel strongly we are not liable for these damages and want this cable moved. We have hit dead ends on all contacts. Should we hire an attorney? Can someone tell us how to locate people who have the power to resolve the situation? We have been pressured by the claims dept. to file this with our homeowners' insurance; we resisted because we are not at fault. All suggestions welcome to end this hassle!