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Inaccurate drain location data causes city to lose negligence suit

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Because the city of Fort Wayne did not provide accurate locations of its drains to a utility company involved in constructing an underground monolith, its negligence suit against the utility company can’t survive summary judgment. An underground drain was damaged during the process, causing flooding in the area.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. hired a contractor to perform remediation work on land it owns in Fort Wayne. It asked the city for the locations of underground facilities operated by the city. Fort Wayne provided the information, but some of it was incorrect, which led to a drain being crushed and clogged by concrete-like material placed in the ground as a part of the remediation project. The site near the project flooded in the spring and summer of 2009.

Fort Wayne sued alleging negligence. The trial court granted NIPSCO’s motion for summary judgment in May 2013.

The appellate judges relied on the Indiana Damage to Underground Facilities Act to affirm in The City of Fort Wayne v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company and NiSource, Inc., 02A04-1307-CT-366.

“Essentially, the City is arguing that it complied with DUFA’s requirements by providing NIPSCO with the best information in its possession, however inaccurate it may have been. DUFA, however contains no provision for good faith compliance,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

“Because the city failed to comply with the requirements of I.C. 8-1-26-18(a), NIPSCO was given a full defense to the city’s action against it pursuant to section 22(c). The trial court correctly entered summary judgment in favor of NIPSCO.”

The judges also held that any common-law action the city might have had at one time against NIPSCO has been abrogated by the enactment of DUFA.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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