(Tucson, AZ) December 20, 2016 – In US Airways v Qwest, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Appeals that an underground utility locator was not liable for economic damages from a service interruption. The Supreme Court's ruling also affirmed the Court of Appeal's dismissal of a $2 million dollar plus claim against One Call Locators, Ltd., dba ELM Locating & Utility Services ("ELM").
John Kastner, partner at Gust Rosenfeld, argued before the Arizona Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and trial court on behalf of his client, ELM. Rich Doyle, partner at Doyle Low, was co-counsel for ELM during the trial court and Court of Appeals phases.
The Court of Appeals found ELM owed no duty to US Airways because US Airways suffered only economic harm, not physical harm, as a result of the service interruption, and affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of the locator. US Airways, Inc. v. Qwest Corp., 238 Ariz. 413, 421, 361 P.3d 942, 950 (Ct. App. 2015), review granted in part (Sept. 20, 2016), aff'd in part (Nov. 23, 2016), opinion ordered depublished in part, No. CV-16-0027-PR, 2016 WL 6892136 (Ariz. Nov. 23, 2016)
The Supreme Court also depublished the portions of the Court of Appeals ruling, which held Qwest owed a duty to protect against economic harm. Although the Supreme Court did not grant Qwest's petition for review on this issue, at oral argument the court questioned whether the Court of Appeals correctly decided the issue.
It appears that the Supreme Court, while not granting Qwest's petition on the issue, depublished that part of the Court of Appeals decision to reduce or eliminate any precedential value.
View the Arizona Supreme Court's decision here
and the Court of Appeals decision here
.About Gust Rosenfeld
Gust Rosenfeld is a full service law firm established in 1921 with offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Wickenburg. The firm is known for the quality of its lawyers and legal advice as well as its creative insights and practical solutions in business, public and civil law. Gust Rosenfeld is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditor's rights, business and corporate law, commercial finance, education law, environmental law, franchises and franchising, health care, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, natural resources, public finance, public law, real estate, taxation, and trusts and estates.