Response or Comment
In two recent articles published'in this Review, the question of the liability of water companies for fire losses was somewhat exhaustively discussed. The majority of the actions wherein it has been sought to hold water companies liable for fire losses suffered by private property owners, have been brought for breach of contract. In a few cases the theory adopted was that the water company owed a duty to all property owners, by reason of the public character of its service; and the fact that it was under contract with the city to furnish an adequate water supply and pressure for fire protection, did not relieve it from liability in tort for any loss suffered by an inhabitant of the city through insufficient service. The Supreme Courts of Indiana, in Fitch v. Seymour Water Co., 139 Ind. 214, Georgia, in Fowler v. Athens City Water Works Co., 83 Ga. 219, and Mississippi in Wilkinson v. Light, Heat and Water Co., 78 Miss. 389, have repudiated this doctrine of liability in tort, though thie Supreme Court of North Carolina, a most able and progressive court, has affirmed it, in Fisher v. Greensboro Water Supply Co., 128 N. C. 375.
Sunderland, Edson R. "Liability of Water Companies for Fire Losses." Mich. L. Rev. 4 (1906): 540-1.