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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court clarifies earlier Veolia opinion

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., is a one paragraph opinion by Justice David on a petition for rehearing:

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).
Here is the Supreme Court's Feb. 6th opinion. And here is the Aug. 3, 2012 Court of Appeals opinion reversing the trial court, concluding:
We conclude that both the City and Veolia are entitled to common law immunity [ILB emphasis, see p. 10 of opinion], because the common law rule turns on the purpose for which the water is being used, not the underlying cause of the lack of water. We further conclude that the explicit language of the City's contract with Veolia disavows any intent to create third-party beneficiaries. Therefore, we reverse. * * *

Pursuant to long-standing precedent, common law immunity bars claims for fire damages stemming from an inadequate supply of water or inoperable fire hydrants. This immunity applies both to the City and to Veolia. We also conclude that Veolia did not waive its immunity, and even if it had, the explicit terms of the contract indicate that the Insurers are not third-party beneficiaries of the Management Agreement. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 9, 2014 01:22 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions