• On March 8, 2011, the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed an appellate court’s ruling that had stripped sovereign immunity from the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma in a suit brought by telecommunications carrier Seneca Telephone Company. Seneca had sued the Tribe under Oklahoma’s Underground Facilities Damages Prevention Act for damages to its telecommunications facilities allegedly caused by the Tribe’s work on behalf of another Oklahoma tribe, but the state Supreme Court held that the state appellate court had erred in exposing the Tribe to suit. As the Supreme Court found, “until such time as the parties to a contract with a tribe[] condition the performance of the contract upon an express waiver of sovereign immunity, the parties must act at their own peril when dealing with the tribe.” The court further observed that the “harsh reality” in the case was that “Seneca did not have the opportunity to negotiate a waiver of the sovereign immunity with the negligent party, but was an innocent third party to the negligence of a tribal enterprise. This result leaves Seneca without a remedy against [the] Tribe for their damages under our law, even when the assertions of negligence by the tribal enterprise are correct.” Nevertheless, the Supreme Court held that absent a Congressional abrogation or Tribal waiver of the Tribe’s immunity, the case against the Tribe could not survive. Seneca Telephone Co., v. Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, No. 107431, et al. (Okla. S. Ct.).