MCI Communications Services v. CMES, Inc.Annotate this Case
MCI sued CMES on theories of negligence and trespass, and sought damages consisting of the costs to repair a severed cable, compensation for the loss of use of the cable during the time it took to repair it, and punitive damages. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of CMES, holding that MCI could not recover loss of use damages. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit certified the following question: "Under Georgia law, may a telecommunications service provider whose cable is severed recover loss-of-use damages measured by the rental value of substitute cable when it has not rented such cable or otherwise incurred any monetary loss apart from the cost of repair?" The court concluded that a telecommunications carrier was not entitled to loss of use damages measured by the hypothetical cost to rent a replacement system where it suffered no actual loss of use damages and did not need to rent a replacement system because it was able to reroute calls within the existing redundant cable system the carrier necessarily installed in order to operate its business.