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William M. Slaughter and Jeffrey J. Halfen Prevail after 29-Day Trial

William M. Slaughter and Jeffrey J. Halfen Prevail after 29-Day Trial

Cal-American Water suffered a stinging defeat after 29 days of trial. Following a slope failure which occurred on July 13, 2009, Cal-American filed suit against a Camarillo couple, Dan and Jennifer Driscoll. It alleged nearly $2,000,000.00 in damages related to slope repair which was occasioned by a broken 10-inch water main.

Cal-American alleged that the operation of a lightweight Bobcat which was driven over the pipeline was the cause of its failure. However, evidence was presented at trial establishing that Cal-American had experienced “number leaks due to aging asbestos cement pipes” pursuant to a report that was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission. Judge Kent Kellegrew issued a decision on February 15, 2017 in favor of the defendants finding no liability.

Cal-American’s damages were compounded because it took more than two and a half hours to shut off the broken pipeline. Although it was offered $500,000.00 in settlement, Cal-American rejected the settlement and proceeded to an adverse result at trial. Ultimately the court awarded $356,577.93 in costs to the defendants. The case has since been settled by a payment of $306,577.93 to defendants.