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Supreme Court affirms COA on issue in public-private contract

July 9, 2014

In a mere three sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion in the lawsuit involving Veolia Water and the city of Indianapolis and liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed a restaurant.

The Supreme Court held in February that for-profit, private company Veolia Water is not entitled to common law sovereign immunity from liability for damages. The company was responsible for operating the city’s water utility pursuant to an agreement with Indianapolis. Owners of a Texas Roadhouse that burned in 2010 sued, alleging the fire hydrants near the restaurant froze because the private companies to whom Veolia licensed access failed to properly close them.

“Veolia seeks rehearing and asks this Court to determine whether the Insurers are third-party beneficiaries to the Management Agreement between Veolia and the City of Indianapolis. We now grant rehearing. As to all issues not expressly addressed in our principal opinion, the
Court of Appeals is summarily affirmed pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A)(2),” Justice Steven David wrote.

The case is Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC, City of Indianapolis, Department of Waterworks, and City of Indianapolis v. National Trust Insurance Company and FCCI Insurance Company a/s/o Ultra Steak, Inc., et al., 49S04-1301-PL-8.
 

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