WSC ordered to pay company €31,500 in damages for mains leak

Agius Printing Press sued the national water supplier after leaks into the printing press’ property, destroy €22,653 worth of equipment

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

The Water Services Corporation has been ordered to pay €31,563 in damages to the owners of a Floriana printing press, which flooded after a mains leak.

Agius Printing Press sued the national water supplier after a T pipe belonging to the defendants started to leak into the printing press’ property, destroying €22,653 worth of equipment. They had been told by their insurer that some of the damage was not covered by the company’s insurance policy.

The plaintiffs had requested the court also award them damages for loss of earnings, as they remain unable to work to date.

The First Hall of the Civil Court, presided by Mr. Justice Grazio Mercieca, noted that negligence on the part of the defendants was “certainly” a factor as the T pipes in question had already leaked on a previous occasion and were not installed on the outside of the building as they should have been.

“It is not an excuse that the owners of the overlying apartments did not cooperate [with the defendant] to move the T pipes to the outside of the building,” said the court, noting that it was WSC which had installed them inside in the first place and that the plaintiff had nothing to do with the apartment owners’ decision.

Neither was there any evidence of contributory negligence on the part of the printing press, said the court, dismissing this defence as “completely inane.”

In quantifying the damages, the judge noted that a server worth €7,593 was rendered unusable with the more modern equipment that the company was forced to replace it with. The printing press also could not afford the €15,060 needed for new software to run it, leading to loss of earnings amounting to €8,910.

The total amount of damages due was assessed by the court at €31,563, which it ordered WSC to pay, with interest incurring until the date of settlement.

Lawyers Raymond Zammit and Thomas Zammit appeared for Agius Printing Press. Lawyer Abigail Critien and Christopher Vella represented WSC in the proceedings.