PRESTONSBURG — The cell tower construction above Rising Son Ministries in Prestonsburg has led to a lawsuit being filed after the church suffered damages due to hillside slippage in 2011.
BPI Inc., a West Virginia construction company, is being sued by American Towers LLC due poor construction of a cell tower located above Rising Son Ministries, known as the “Big Branch” site. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is also listed among the defendants as the principal insurer for BPI construction.
According to the suit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Pikeville, the tower, base and access road were not properly constructed properly by BPI.
“BPI failed to construct the tower in a complete and workmanlike manner, performed faulty workmanship, and did not use methods and documentation practices tht conformed with prevailing stndards of accuracy, competence, completeness in the construction of the tower at the Big Branch site.”
The plaintiffs also contend that BPI failed to apply gravel to the specification, or depth called for in the plans, failed to remove to clear the soil aroudn the tower compound of rocks and trees, bushes and shrugs, and failed to properly monitor moisture content of the soil.
They also contend that the access road to the site began to fail within a year of completion of the tower, and as a result the Rising Sun Church suffered damages of both mud and water damage when the hill began to slide in April 2011. The road was, according to the court documents, not built to specification, and a “short cut” path was created which completely failed.
The lawsuit claims that BPI breached its contract with ATC by refusing to indemnify ATC for the damages caused to Rising Son Church.
“The damages suffered to Rising Son Church and the property on April 28, and May 10, 2011, were the direct and proximate result of BPI’s performance of the scope of work at the Big Branch site…”
They contend that when asked by ATC to repair the damage to Rising Son Church and resolve a claim by the church against ATC, that both BPI and Nationwide Mutual Insurance refused to repair the damage citing it as an “act of God.”
According to the lawsuit, ATC compensated Rising Son Church for the damages, and that the cost of that work exceeded $800,000.
ATC is seeking an amount in excess of $800,000 in relief, as well as punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
The attorney’s for ATC say that the problems caused by BPI’s breaches of contract with regard to the Big Branch site has had a negative impact on ATC’s relationship with it’s customers.