Court Restrains City from Cutting Off Water
An interesting controversy is being tried in the Circuit Court of Indiana, in which Fort Wayne attempted to cut off the water service of nine business houses, the firms having refused to sign a contract with the municipality which would release it from all damages that might arise through fire, by reason of the city being unable to provide sufficient water supply for fire fighting. A temporary restraining order was issued on November 19, against the city of Fort Wayne by Judge S. A. Wood in the Allen circuit court, which acts as a stay against the city of Fort Wayne cutting off the water of these business concerns.
A ruling on the controversy which reached a climax with thr issuance of the restraining order on November 29, is expected soon by the Indiana public service commission. The firms appealed to the service commission earlier in the day and then late in the afternoon went into court.
Mayor Hosey, of Fort Wayne, in a statement said he welcomed the court action in order to have the law tested before some big fire loss occurred. The plaintiff firms in the injunction are the Fort Wayne Engineering Manufacturing Company, A. H. Perfect & Co., Fort Wayne Drug Company, G. E. Burlsey & Co.. Perfection Biscuit Company. A. & I. Weil. Fort Wayne Corrugated Paper Company, E. Gilmartin & Son and S. F. Bowser & Co.
The city contends that it can not be held liable for any fire losses that might arise because of insufficient water service to firms having standpipes or automatic sprinkler systems for fire protection. When the firms involved in the suit refused to sign a contract to that effect, the city served notice on them. The water supply would be shut off on Thursday.