Plaintiffs, store owner and his insurer, sought review of a judgment entered in favor of defendants, water supplier and water distributor, by the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County (California), in plaintiffs’ suit based upon breach of contract and tort.
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Plaintiff store owner’s establishment burned down and he and plaintiff insurer filed suit against defendants, water supplier and water distributor, for breach of contract and tort. The trial court entered judgment in favor of defendants, which was affirmed on appeal. The court held that plaintiffs had no cause of action for breach of contract because they were not parties to a contract between defendants. The court held that plaintiffs were not third-party beneficiaries of that contract because the contract was not an express private contract by a consumer with a water company to obtain water service for fire protection. The court held that such an express contract was required in order for defendants to be liable to plaintiffs. The court held that defendants were not liable to plaintiffs in tort because there could be no liability for negligent failure to supply water to fight fire absent special circumstances not present in the instant action.
The court affirmed the judgment for defendants, water supplier and water distributor, in a suit for breach of contract and tort by plaintiffs, store owner and his insurer. Plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action as they were not parties to a contract between defendants, nor were they third-party beneficiaries. There were no special circumstances giving rise to tort liability for negligent failure to supply water to fight a fire.