Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. v. Harris Co
In Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. v. Harris Co., 353 Ark. 487, 109 S.W.3d 637 (Ark. 2003), while the Harris Company was excavating, it damaged both a copper cable and a fiber-optic cable belonging to Bell Telephone. Id. at 638.
Among the damages sought by Bell were loss-of-use damages in the amount it would have cost Bell to rent replacement cables while the damaged copper and fiber-optic cables were inoperable. Id.
Harris argued that Bell was not entitled to any damages for loss of use because Bell did not actually rent any replacement cables. Id.
The trial court granted Harris's motion for a directed verdict on this issue. Id.
In finding that Bell was not entitled to loss-of-use damages, the Supreme Court of Arkansas held that Arkansas law only recognizes loss-of-use damages for personal property in motor vehicle cases and emphasized the fact that Bell did not rent any replacement cables while the copper and fiber-optic cables were being repaired. Id.