Action 9 helps Gastonia man who claims Duke Energy damaged driveway

GASTONIA, N.C. — Ken Wilson says he wasn’t home at the time, but that his neighbor saw a Duke Energy crew having trouble at the entrance to his driveway.

His neighbor showed him where the work truck got stuck and made a mess of his driveway.

Wilson filed a claim with Duke Energy, which uses Sedgwick to handle its claims. Sedgwick emailed Wilson and said, “As customer courtesy, Duke is willing to offer $500 towards the damages; however they maintain that their crew did not cause the damages.”

However, Wilson insisted Duke Energy was to blame and that $500 was not a fair payment. He asked Action 9 to contact the company, and less than a week later, a representative with Duke Energy emailed Wilson telling him Sedgwick would send him a check for more than $6,800.

The utility company told Action 9 there “appeared to be preexisting damage on the property, so the claim was initially denied. Upon further evaluation, it was determined that Duke Energy vehicles may have caused additional damage.”

“It’s as much about right and wrong and them listening to us and, hopefully, holding their employees accountable and, hopefully, making some changes so others don’t have to go through what I had to go through to get to this point,” Wilson said.

Here’s what you should know about issues with any utility:

- The first question is, who runs the utility?

- If it’s a company, you can complain to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

- For co-ops, complain to the Rural Electrification Authority.

- For the government, complain to the utility and then the elected officials who oversee it.

- If all else fails, you can talk to a lawyer, but suing may not be worth the time or money.

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