69-4-505. Liability for damages to underground facilities. (1) (a) If any underground facility is damaged by an excavator who has failed to obtain information as to its location as provided in 69-4-503, then the excavator is liable to the owner of the underground facility for the entire cost of the repair of the facility. The excavator is also liable to the underground facility owner that is a member of a one-call notification center pursuant to 69-4-502(2)(a) for a damage fee. Damage fees must be assessed as follows:
(i) 25% of the total cost of repairing the underground facility not to exceed $125 for the first incident;
(ii) 50% of the total cost of repairing the underground facility not to exceed $500 for the second incident; and
(iii) $1,000 for the third and each subsequent incident.
(b) An underground facility owner may levy only one fee for each incident.
(c) If there is more than one underground facility affected by an incident, then each underground facility owner that is a member of a one-call notification center pursuant to 69-4-502(2)(a) may levy one damage fee for that incident.
(2) Payment of costs and fees described in this section is due within 30 days of billing by the owner of the underground facility. The underground facility owner may enforce collection in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) If information requested pursuant to 69-4-503 is not provided within the time specified in that section, excavators damaging or injuring underground facilities are not liable for that damage or injury, unless caused by their negligence, and are not liable for the damage fees assessed under subsection (1).
(4) The act of obtaining information as required by this part does not excuse an excavator making any excavation from doing so in a careful and prudent manner, nor does it excuse the excavator from liability for any damage or injury resulting from the excavator's negligence.
History: (1)En. Sec. 4, Ch. 180, L. 1971; Sec. 32-4804, R.C.M. 1947; (2)En. Sec. 5, Ch. 180, L. 1971; Sec. 32-4805, R.C.M. 1947; (3)En. Sec. 6, Ch. 180, L. 1971; Sec. 32-4806, R.C.M. 1947; R.C.M. 1947, 32-4804, 32-4805, 32-4806; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 544, L. 2005.