Facts: Petitioner Calvin Fisk filed suit against the respondent city of Kirkland in the Superior Court for King County after a city fire hydrant’s insufficient water pressure prevented the city from extinguishing a fire that ultimately destroyed his recreational vehicle. The trial court granted summary judgment for the city of Kirkland, ruling that the city owed Fisk no duty to provide water for fire suppression purposes. Fisk appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Under Washington Revised Code §80.28.010(2), which requires that all water companies furnish and supply service, instrumentalities, and facilities as shall be safe, adequate, and efficient, did the city of Kirkland owe Fisk a duty to provide sufficient water for fire suppression purposes?
Conclusion: Justice Chambers’ opinion for the Court affirmed the trial court, concluding that although the water system operated by the city of Kirkland is a water company for purposes of §80.28.010(2), the city of Kirkland owed Fisk no duty under §80.28.010(2) as Fisk is not within the class of persons intended to be protected by the statute given that the duties it creates apply only to water companies providing services for hire and the legislature did not intend to impose liability for the failure to provide water for fire suppression.
Docket No. 79573-8
Petitioner: Calvin Fisk
(Counsel: William E. Pierson, Jr.)
Respondent: City of Kirkland
(Counsel: Randal W. Ebberson and Stewart Andrew Estes)
Argument: Thursday, October 25, 2007 1:30pm
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Prevailing Party: City of Kirkland (Respondent)
Court: Alexander4 Court (2008-2009)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.