Haizlip v. Rosenberg

Decision Date06 February 1897
PartiesHAIZLIP v. ROSENBERG et al.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Appeal from circuit court, Jefferson county; John M. Elliott, Judge.

Action by Millie M. Haizlip against Rosenberg & Miller to recover rent. Judgment for defendants on a counterclaim for damages, and plaintiff appeals. Reversed.

This action was to recover $186.75 for rent of a storehouse in Pine Bluff. Appellees admitted the possession and rental value as claimed, but set up a counterclaim for $290 damages, caused, as they allege, through the carelessness and negligence of the appellant in permitting water fixtures in an unoccupied closet, situated above the storeroom which appellees rented, to be and remain defective and insufficient for the purpose of carrying off the water, whereby it ran down upon the goods of appellees, to their damage as above stated. In her reply, appellant denied liability for the damage claimed, and alleged that at the time it occurred she had rented out to other tenants the upper story of the building, including the water closet, and that at the time of such rental the closet and water pipes were in good order, and that she was under no obligation to keep same in good condition. The proof showed that the upper and lower stories of the brick store of appellant had been rented to separate tenants, — the upper story to a cotton buyer, and the lower to the appellees. There was a water closet in the upper story for the use of the tenant occupying said story, and one, for the use of the tenants in the lower story, outside the building, in the yard. The water for the supply of the building was through a main pipe attached to the main of the water works. This pipe went through the closet in the yard, through the store, and up into the water closet upstairs. The proof tended to show that the overflow was caused by the breaking of the stem of the ball cock inside the tank of the water closet upstairs which caused the ball cock to get out of place, so that when the pressure of water was turned on it overflowed the tank and ran down into the building. It was shown that the overflow pipe in the tank was pretty well corroded, so that the water could not run through. The witness testified that this pipe might have been fixed and cleared, and that if this had been done the overflow might or might not have happened. A stick was found under the ball cock, and the stem to the ball cock was corroded. There had not been a pressure of water which had reached the upstairs closet for a month or six weeks prior to the overflow. The strong pressure of the water may have broken the stem of the ball...

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