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News Release: 2011-07-17

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Herrera to sue CBS Outdoor advertising over $100K in paint damage to MUNI vehicles

Damage caused by defiant advertising giant has gone unaddressed for months, despite clear contract provision requiring reimbursement

SAN FRANCISCO (July 17, 2011) -- City Attorney Dennis Herrera will file suit tomorrow morning against CBS Outdoor, Inc. for more than $100,000 in exterior paint damage to MUNI buses that the company caused when applying and removing its advertising displays. The lawsuit comes after months of good faith efforts by City officials to resolve the claim went virtually unheeded by the defiant New York-based company, in clear violation of the City's longstanding contract for advertising on MUNI vehicles. Herrera's complaint for damages alleges that CBS Outdoor breached a 2004 contract inherited from its predecessor interest, Viacom Outdoor Group, which requires the contractor to "reimburse City for any damage done to City's property in connection with the use of such equipment and materials" that it employs for its advertising displays. In addition to damages, Herrera is seeking attorneys' fees and costs to pursue the civil action.

"San Francisco taxpayers have a right to expect public contractors to live up their obligations, and CBS Outdoor has clearly failed to do that," Herrera said. "My office's lawsuit comes after months of hard work to document the damages the company caused to our MUNI buses, and to try and resolve our claim cooperatively. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure the reimbursements to which we're entitled have been ignored. So I'm forced to seek a court order for the payment in addition to attorneys' fees and costs."

Late last year, the City presented extensive documentation, at CBS Outdoor's request, to verify the City's claim of damages totaling $106,519.02. The claim binder was comprised of spreadsheets, detailed repair estimates, and photographs of damage to more than one-hundred MUNI buses spanning five different Municipal Railway divisions. The case will be: City and County of San Francisco v. CBS Outdoor, Inc., San Francisco Superior Court, to be filed July 18, 2011.

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Last updated: 7/15/2011 6:12:53 PM