CHARLESTON -- Verizon West Virginia is suing the state Department of Transportation and Division of Highways, claiming workers damaged an underground cable during excavation work in Wheeling.

The telecommunications company filed a lawsuit May 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, the state on April 9, 2007, was doing test drilling core sample work on National Road in Wheeling which required excavation.

Verizon says state law requires entities planning to dig to first call a central agency, which, in turn informs operators of underground utilities. The utilities determine if there are any underground facilities and then mark them with bright orange paint.

Verizon also says this law makes the digging entity liable for any damages after the underground facilities are marked.

The company claims that, despite the markings on National Road, state road crews dug down and damaged an underground conduit and the telecommunications cable housed inside.

Verizon seeks $18,000 for the damages and reimbursement of legal costs.

Diana Leigh Johnson is representing the plaintiffs. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-864

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