ILNews

Inaccurate drain location data causes city to lose negligence suit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

ADVERTISEMENT