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Appellate Court Upholds Decision For Water Companies On Corrosion Claims

Caufield & James LLP is pleased to announce that on May 3, 2018 the Fourth Appellate District upheld the trial courts judgement in the Williams vs. Moulton Niguel Water District et al. pipe corrosion cases. Caufield & James LLP represented Metropolitan Water District ("MWD") through at the bifurcated bench trial and prevailed on MWD's defenses that the plaintiffs' claims were preempted by federal and state laws and otherwise insufficient on the merits. Plaintiffs were comprised on several different coordinated lawsuits, including several class actions, wherein plaintiffs had contended that the water being provided by MWD to their homes caused corrosion in their piping. In particular, the Appellate Court found preemption of the plaintiffs corrosion claims because plaintiffs were unable to demonstrate any violation of the Lead and Copper Rule, 40 C.F.R. Par 141, 42 U.S.C. Section 300 and Health and Safety Code Section 11627 et seq. The Appellate Court decision was a significant victory for water providers like MWD that could be faced with conflicting legal claims verses regulatory requirements should the underlying case have been allowed to proceed.

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