October 10, 2023 at 12:38 am

Power Company Destroys His Fence And Won’t Fix It For $10k, So He Uses The Law And Sues Them For Millions

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA

Well, well, well, what do we have here…?

I’ll tell you what!

It’s another great story from Reddit’s “Malicious Compliance” page that is sure to make you happy!

Because this guy got some pretty epic revenge after he wasn’t compensated for a destroyed fence.

Check out the story below and see what you think!

Won’t compensate me for my fence? Then compensate me 100 times as much for my crops!

“My brother in law grows avocados in California. Several years ago, a portion of his ranch was ravaged by a wildfire, or so he thought at first. When the smoke cleared, it became obvious that the fire was caused by an electrical line that was blown over by strong winds and had landed on his fence, catching it on fire.

Since he had been planning on diversifying his crops anyway, he decided he’d simply replace his fence, replant, and move on. To that end, he called up the electric company that owned the downed line and asked them for about $10K in compensation to replace the fence that had been destroyed by their electrical line. They denied any and all culpability in the matter and told him that he should sue them if he didn’t like it.

What the electric company didn’t realize was that my sister, his wife, works full time as a corporate attorney for one of the largest utilities in California, defending against cases just like this one. At first she was concerned that this utility was a subsidiary of her employer, in which case there would be a massive conflict of interest.

Apparently legal departments frown on their employees when their husband is suing them. Go figure. Thankfully, after some investigation, she realized that the utility in question was completely independent of her employer, and at that point the gloves were off.

My sister didn’t represent her husband because she’s typically on the other side of these cases, but she did advise him on everything he needed to bring to court to win his case, and she helped him find a very reputable lawyer with a solid record of winning cases like these. Not knowing what they were up against, the utility persisted in refusing to negotiate, hoping that by forcing my brother in law to trial, he would simply give up and go away.

Spurred on by my sister’s insistence that he had a solid case, he called their bluff and went to trial. As it turns out, California takes agricultural damage very seriously, and the court conducted its own independent investigation.

It estimated the total damages at around $335,000, which is over 33 times as much as my brother in law had asked for initially. Furthermore, there is a law in California that awards triple damages in cases where agriculture is impacted, so the utility that had been unwilling to negotiate over $10K was now on the hook for over a million dollars in damages.

When all was said and done, my brother in law confided to me that he would have gladly settled for the $10K in arbitration and that it would probably have taken him over a decade to even sell a million dollars worth of crops.

The utility had to have their day in court, though.”

And here’s how people reacted.

This person made a hilarious observation.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual said hopefully the utility company will learn something from this.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And one Reddit chalked this story up to “calculated neglect.”

Source: Reddit/AITA

Wow. Imagine being given a gift like this from a massive business.

Job well done!