Where can I find legal descriptions concerning to what extent a supplier is responsible for their product ?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Arizona
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I am typing out my answer. Please remember that this is general information only, not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed.When you say "supplier," do you mean re-seller, or manufacturer?This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
I had a high water bill,whereupon I had a leak detection company tell me that I had a leak inside a filter in a filtration system, due to high pressure. When I built, everything was tested to 80 PSI; now it's well over 100 ( 110+ ), which caused the leak. Getting the leak found and a pressure reduction valve installed cost me about 1K$. Tucson Water contends it has absolutely no responsibility, that I should be monitoring my own pressure, etc.
Thank you.When did you build, exactly?
The bill is for my primary residence. Built in 1992, Tucson Water admitted at the hearing that the pressure wasn't this high at the time of construction, but as more people built higher up in the foothills, pressure went up - and that they are not responsible, that I should have known the pressure increased...
Thank you, Mark.So wherein lies the problem - with the system, and if so, who built it?
A licensed contractor - and the work was inspected by the city, and was agreed to have been satisfactory by Tucson Water at the hearing. The leak was in a backflow prevention valve in a reverse-osmosis filtration system - an aftermarket item. They are specified up to 85 PSI - water heaters, etc. are all specified at 80 PSI. Tere's nothing wrong with any of the plumbing; the high pressure blem the filter. The leak was very small - but it was constant. New construction is still tested to 80 ! That's the bone of contention - Tucson Water says they have no responsibility to deliver water at the pressure that the house was built for / tested to - which means to me they can delivery anything they want. I disagree. I believe it's their duty to monitor water pressure in their system, and notify homeowners if the pressure they have in a certain area is exceeding design limits...
Mark,Thank you. I have spent the last 20 minutes or so looking up case law and agonizing over your question. I have some good news and some bad news.Bad NewsActually, there is no law that states that suppliers must control the output of their product. This is based on the following doctrines of law:1) Negligence. The elements of actionable negligence are a duty owed to the plaintiff, a breach thereof and an injury proximately caused by the breach. Boyle v. City of Phoenix, 115 Ariz. 106, 563 P.2d 905 (1977).2) The problem is that no statutory or stare decisis precedent exists that makes such a supplier constantly monitor the output. For example, if I was to call Europe and leave the telephone off the hook, the telephone company does not have to eventually hang up "for" me - they would charge all this time that I was on the line. In fact, a court case like this was decided for the company.Good NewsOur system is constantly changing and evolving. If you wish, you can challenge the predicate and possibly have an impact case with your suit. In order to challenge these doctrines, you would have two options:1) To file a Writ of Mandamus under Title 12, Chapter 11, Article 2 et seq. This type of petition may be filed by you to the supreme or superior court and the Defendant may be any person, inferior tribunal, corporation or board that works for the state and ask that the agency make . Because Tuscon Water is a government agency, this may fall under this path.2) File a petition in court with Tuscon Water as a defendant, alleging negligence. With a good attorney, you may be successful. In either, you would argue that a duty should be hedged to the supplier in regard to monitoring output, especially if they knew that it was too much. Perhaps in front of a sympathetic jury, you may get judgment in your favor.While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes people have limited avenues to seek relief. Please understand that this is not the expert’s fault. Surely, you prefer that I tell you the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Please keep this in mind when rating my answer. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.I hope this finds you well. Please click Reply to Expert to keep talking, or rate my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Otherwise, reply to chat more until we are finished and you are ready to rate. I work very hard to formulate an informative answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
In a recent " case " ( gas line leak in San Bruno, CA, huge fire / explosion / many dead, Pacific Gas and Electric is liable for huge damages ), that particular utility supplied gas to a pressure the pipes couoldn't handle, to disastrous results - and there was no question about liability. Does an incident like this have any bearing ? The leak wasn't caused by a " surge " on their part, but constant pressure over time, which they have to be well aware of...
Hello Mark and thank you for your follow up.Yes, it does. However, California and Arizona are two different states. While CA's decision against PG&E is influential, it does not set precedent in Arizona. In addition, loss of life is quite different than a higher bill and a damages filtration system. Of course I am not attempting to minimize your loss, but I am simply stating this from the point of view of a devil's advocate.In the end, you are asking me if you have a case? Perhaps, but you have to "push" for it. You'd have to show that Tuscon Water had the duty to control supply and should have notified you and/or turned off anything above normal for your area. In the end, this remains subjective and in the hand of the jury, I am afraid.I hope this finds you well. Please click Reply to Expert to keep talking, or rate my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Otherwise, reply to chat more until we are finished and you are ready to rate. I work very hard to formulate an informative answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
The only precedent I was after was whether or not a utility is responsible for delivering product to within the design limits of the system. I'm not sure how much I want to pursue this - I know it won't be free. However, I feel there's a principal involved here...do you know what the limits of recovery are for Small Claims courts in AZ ? I'm thinking they owe me about 2K$ - and that there are potentially thousands of other properties out there that are being similarly affected...
Mark,The only precedent I was after was whether or not a utility is responsible for delivering product to within the design limits of the system. No, there is no such precedent, I am afraid. Rather, the proper answer is: "There is no precedent for duty that a utility company has to watch its delivery of product within the design limit of the system."However, you can still try...The AZ level for small claims court is $2,500.
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