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Utilities Law

Tucker Arensberg has a long history of representing regulated public utilities, municipalities, and other Commonwealth agencies and authorities in Pennsylvania.


Tucker Arensberg has a long history of representing regulated public utilities, municipalities, and other Commonwealth agencies and authorities in Pennsylvania. The capabilities of our firm in the regulated public utility sector are as follows:

Commercial Litigation

Public Utilities in Pennsylvania are frequently the targets of angry Plaintiffs in the context of commercial litigation claims.  Such claims may involve alleged breach of contract matters or other alleged harm caused to a customer or non-customer of that utility.  Utilities must also seek Court intervention periodically in order to enforce contractual rights when other parties infringe on those rights.  Tucker Arensberg has handled such matters before the Public Utility Commission (‘PUC’), in trial courts and on appeal.

Personal Injury Defense Litigation

Claims and lawsuits against utilities are brought with a high rate of frequency.  That is because vehicles and other utility facilities are everywhere.  Aerial wires, cables, poles, motor vehicles and sidewalk or parking lot tripping hazards are objects that may give rise to personal injury claims against a utility.  Fires and other catastrophic explosions are occurrences that may also give rise to claims.  Tucker Arensberg attorneys have handled all such claims ranging from minor slip and fall incidents to catastrophic injury and death claims against utilities.   Tucker Arensberg has handled these cases both at the trial level and on appeal.

Real Estate Litigation

For many decades, Tucker Arensberg has advised utilities with regard to eminent domain and right of way matters and other land use matters.  We have negotiated and recovered money damages and increased value payments for utilities affected by eminent domain takings.  We have also represented utilities in connection with the ejectment actions as well as easement matters.

Third-Party Property Damage Claims

Responding to damage incidents involving utility property requires a significant expenditure of time and resources for the utility.  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission mandates that utilities have a program to recover from persons or entities that have caused damage to their facilities.  Capturing those costs and recovering from the responsible parties requires an active and aggressive collection team.  Our firm has assisted in the recovery of property damage costs in aerial and underground damage claims.

Public Utility Commission Consumer Complaints

Utility companies are often the targets of customer complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.   These complaints present unique challenges not only because the complainant often retains an on-going relationship with the utility after the dispute concludes, but also because the Commission’s broad investigative and enforcement powers can greatly expand the scope (and impact) of the proceeding. Our firm has successfully handled many matters before the Commission on a broad range of disputes ranging from reliability and safety issues to billing concerns. Common issues include alleged overbilling, termination of service, application of tariff provisions, meter-related problems, vegetation control, theft of service, the operation of the utility’s equipment, and a variety of other issues that arise in the field.

Employment/Workers Compensation Claims

For many years, our firm has defended utilities involved in Worker’s Compensation and Federal Black Lung litigation.  We have also successfully represented utility companies, and many employers in other industries, in wrongful discharge and employment discrimination matters.

Tax Audit Representation

Utilities operating in Pennsylvania are routinely confronted with audits of Pennsylvania Gross Receipts Tax, Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax and Pennsylvania Corporate Net Income Tax. In addition, recent tax law changes have created new tax planning opportunities in the area of the Pennsylvania Corporate Net Income Tax. Our firm has successfully handled many audits and appeals and has also developed tax planning strategies that allow our clients to take advantage of the recent tax law changes.

We feel that our skills and experience in these areas enable our firm to provide the highest quality of service to clients in these areas.

Representative Experience:

  • Obtained summary judgment for electric utility company on $2.3 million dollar negligence claim.
  • Defense of large utility in claim by numerous upstream landowners alleging that stream culvert owned by utility was causing flooding to properties.
  • Obtained trial judgment in favor of a local utility company in lawsuit brought by contractor who claimed that the utility wrongfully terminated their contract and that the utility’s associated conduct amounted to unjust enrichment and tortious interference.
  • Multi-year litigation before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to determine application of smart metering legislation.
  • Represent major electric utility in major engineering and construction disputes and in the defense of serious and permanent injury and wrongful death cases.
  • Represented national alternative energy business in real estate, construction and contract litigation.
  • Defended regional utility company which was sued for automobile accident claims.
  • Part of the successful litigation team representing a local utility in complex litigation over the ownership of underground vaults before the trial court and on appeal to the Superior Court.
  • Handled coal company’s breach of warranty claim on multi-million-dollar piece of equipment.

Serving our clients successfully since 1900

The same attributes that have anchored over a century of success are still our guiding principles today.

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