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Case of the Month

West's® Jury Verdicts - Arizona Reports

Water Co. Wrongfully Taps Into Fire Suppression Line

City of Yuma v. Clark

Type of Case:
Intentional Torts - Other


Specific Liability:
Water company tapped into fire suppression line

General Injury:
Monetary damages

Jurisdiction:
State: Arizona
Court: Superior Court of Arizona, Yuma County.

Related Court Documents:
None.

Case Name:
City of Yuma v. Philip K. Clark, Suzanne R. Clark, PKC Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Brooks Water Company, and Sergio Corona

Docket/File Number:
S1400-CV-2014-01271

Result:
Plaintiff, $59,949; the award was increased in judgment to $212,248.59



Result Date:
October 18, 2016

Judge:
Lawrence C. Kenworthy

Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Richard W. Files, Deputy City Attorney - Yuma, Yuma, AZ; Rodney C. Short, Assistant City Attorney - Yuma, Yuma, AZ
Defendants: Carol A. Bowman, Bowman & Smith P.C., Yuma, AZ; William Michael Smith, Bowman & Smith P.C., Yuma, AZ

Result Type:
Jury Trial

Experts:
Plaintiffs: Not reported.
Defendants: Not reported.

Breakdown of Result:
Plaintiff, $59,949; the award was increased in judgment to $212,248.59

$35,969.48 to plaintiff from defendant Diamond Brooks Water Co.
$23,979.64 to plaintiff from defendants Philip and Suzanne Clark

Summary of Facts:
According to the plaintiff's lawyers: Philip Clark and Suzanne Clark, owners of Diamond Brooks Water Co., reportedly instructed employee Sergio Corona to tap into the fire suppression line to take unmetered water. A federal search warrant discovered a valved-apparatus connected to the fire suppression line with piping leading to the plant.

The City of Yuma filed a lawsuit against the Clarks, PKC Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Brooks Water Co. and Corona. The plaintiff asserted claims of conversion, and statutory tampering with utility. It contended Diamond Brooks Water Co. sold the water as bulk water. The City sought $59,949.12 in compensation.

The defendants denied the allegations.

The plaintiff offered to settle for $43,000.

A jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $59,949.12 from the Clarks and Diamond Brooks Water Co.

The court awarded the plaintiff $62,500 for treble damages, $37,330.08 for costs, $52,469.39 for attorney's fees from the Clarks and Diamond Brooks Water Co., jointly and severally.

Court: Superior Court of Arizona, Yuma County.

Westlaw Citation:
2016 WL 9022523


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