Plaintiff town appealed from an order of the Superior Court of Mendocino County (California) granting defendant water company’s motion for a new trial on the jury verdict for the town in its action to recover damages against the water company for the destruction of the town’s property by fire due to the negligence of the water company in not supplying sufficient water pressure for efficient firefighting use.
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The water company furnished water to the town and charged the town for water used for municipal purposes. The town filed an action to recover damages against the water company for the destruction of the town’s property by fire. It alleged that the water company was negligent in failing to provide enough water pressure. On appeal, the court affirmed the judgment for the water company. The court reasoned that the town and the water company had no formal written contract. The town was not liable to its citizens whose property was destroyed by fire for failing to provide adequate water because it was exercising discretion in its municipal powers. Likewise, when the town contracted with the water company to provide water, the water company was also not liable for failing to provide sufficient water to the town for fighting fires. There was no privity of contract between the water company and the property owner and the contracting water company would not be charged with a greater liability than the city itself.
The court affirmed the judgment for the water company in the town’s negligence suit against the water company.