Woodruff Obtains Ninth Circuit Win for OCTA

In a ruling issued on March 13, 2024, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Southern California Gas and Southern California Edison must bear the cost for relocating their facilities to make way for OCTA’s Streetcar Project.  OCTA agreed to advance the cost of relocations, approximately $14 million, so that there would be no project delay, while reserving its rights to contest cost liability at a future date.  As it stands, the ruling requires the utilities to reimburse that amount, plus post-judgment interest to OCTA, although it is expected the utilities will seek a rehearing.  The 9th Circuit decision generally tracked OCTA’s argument that the utilities should bear the costs.

The decision has ramifications not just for OCTA, but some of the other clients we’ve been working with such as the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, the City of Inglewood, and San Diego Associated Governments, which all have run into situations in which these two utilities have disputed cost liability on somewhat similar projects.

The utilities are represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  David DeBerry, Jason McEwen, Lois Bobak, and Bobbie Kraus represented OCTA.