Line laid by TV cable company causes legal woes for Karns couple

Line laid by TV cable company causes legal woes for Karns couple

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A long ditch remains in front of Ray Faubion's house, and there's a hole next to his driveway nearly a foot deep. Faubion didn't dig either the ditch or the hole. A long ditch remains in front of Ray Faubion's house, and there's a hole next to his driveway nearly a foot deep. Faubion didn't dig either the ditch or the hole.
A Comcast cable box is under his property, which is tied into four homes. Behind it, there's an electrical box. A Comcast cable box is under his property, which is tied into four homes. Behind it, there's an electrical box.
When the Comcast contractor went into his yard, Ray Faubion says they hit his home's main electrical line. When the Comcast contractor went into his yard, Ray Faubion says they hit his home's main electrical line.
"I turned it in to my own homeowners insurance. They came out and were going to get me fixed, taken care of, then bill the other insurance company," said Ray Faubion. "I turned it in to my own homeowners insurance. They came out and were going to get me fixed, taken care of, then bill the other insurance company," said Ray Faubion.
Since June 2011, electrical plugs on the main floor were repaired, but it's a different story upstairs where only one outlet works; the others haven't been fixed. Since June 2011, electrical plugs on the main floor were repaired, but it's a different story upstairs where only one outlet works; the others haven't been fixed.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If you're a home owner, utility companies have an easement to your property. It's a limited strip of land that they can use to construct and maintain underground electrical, water and sewer lines, as well as cable television lines.

A TV cable line laid more than two years has been a legal nightmare for a Karns couple.

A long ditch remains in front of Ray Faubion's house, and there's a hole next to his driveway nearly a foot deep. Faubion didn't dig either the ditch or the hole.

"On June 1, 2011, Comcast cable sent some subcontractor out here to install cable over here in the red house, two houses up from us," Faubion explained.

A Comcast cable box is under his property, which is tied into four homes. Behind it, there's an electrical box.

"Their cable line is supposed to be in the utility easement, ten feet off the curb," he said. The line instead goes into Faubion's yard.

When the contractor went into his yard, he says they hit his home's main electrical line.

"They cut my line in two right here when they were digging," he said, pointing out the spot.

Faubion says the subcontractor for Comcast should have known where the electrical line is located. With the easement close to the street in front of his house, he wonders why the subcontractor dug half-way down his driveway.

"Shouldn't be down in my property or my yard at all," he said.

Faubion paid an electrician out of his own pocket to splice the severed lines together.

"These right here is where my electrician came out and put it together so we can have power," he said as he pointed out the splice.

Cheri Faubion had been alone in her home when the ditch was being dug.

"Everything in the house went off, all of the utilities. Then all of a sudden, I smelled fire. And there was smoke coming out of my electrical plugs," she said.

Since June 2011, electrical plugs on the main floor were repaired, but it's a different story upstairs where only one outlet works; the others haven't been fixed.

The hole hasn't been filled in either. The Faubions' insurance company said to wait.

"I turned it in to my own homeowners insurance. They came out and were going to get me fixed, taken care of, then bill the other insurance company," said Ray Faubion.

"I'm not asking for much. I just want to be able to be taken care of," said Cheri.

For nearly two and a half years, there's been an exchange of legal papers between insurance companies. It boils down to money: apparently $93,000 for estimated repairs.

"The state license inspector came out here and gave them a diagram on the way my wire runs to my house. They have to take my driveway out to fix my electrical line," explained Ray Faubion.

Comcast told 6 On Your Side that because of litigation and pending insurance claims, they can't comment beyond saying there's been lots of back and forth discussions between insurance companies.

The wait has been frustrating for the Faubions. They didn't cut the line in their yard. They're tired of using extension cords on their second floor. They'd like the hole filled in and their place back in order.

"I want my house fixed. It's been two and a half years we've been like this. That we have had the run-around and nobody has done nothing," said Ray Faubion.

Ray Faubion, who is a contractor, says he still hasn't been told why the cable company's subcontractor didn't follow the 10 foot easement next to his street, and went 26 feet into his yard to lay the cable line.

While legal details are hashed out, the couple waits.

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