Norfolk woman’s lawsuit against Dominion, T-Mobile goes to court

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk woman says she’s caught between two major companies and she’s taking both to court. The attorneys on the other side asked a judge to throw the case out Monday.

10 On Your Side first told you about Pat Richardson’s fight in August 2016. She is asking the companies to respect her property rights.

“I just feel very violated,” Richardson said.

It’s a feeling that has been with Richardson for more than a decade. She feels it every time she looks up over her home and sees the tower in backyard.

“I’m just appalled with the whole situation,” Richardson added. “They’re not making a buck. They are making lots of bucks off my property.”

The tower is owned by Dominion Energy, but is on her property. A judge once ruled it can only be used by Dominion for electricity, but right now, T-Mobile is renting space on the tower for cell service.

“You’re there on the property,” Richardson said. “You’ve been there on the property. It’s my property. It is a dry shut case.”

Richards is suing both companies for $2 million each. Monday, both companies worked to get the lawsuit thrown out.

Part of the claim says that T-Mobile workers have trespassed on the Richardson’s property in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but a T-Moblie executive who oversees that tower said Monday crews haven’t been on her land since 2012.

Attorneys for the two companies argue that the statute of limitations has run out. Richardson’s attorney says that’s not the case.

“Virginia courts have been very clear that when you come on somebody’s property without the right to do so, that’s a trespass and that’s wrong,” said Richardson’s attorney Josh Baker.

Baker told the judge this a clear-cut violation of property rights.

“It’s a very basic American tenant that when you own your property people who don’t have a right to come on it can’t come on it,” Baker said.

A judge told both sides he will make a ruling in a couple of days.