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Zeigler v. Blount Brothers Construction Co.

364 So. 2d 1163 (1978)

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Zeigler v. Blount Brothers Construction Co.

Alabama Supreme Court

364 So. 2d 1163 (1978)

Facts

A class of Alabama Power Company (APCO) consumers (consumers) (plaintiffs) brought a class action against multiple construction and engineering firms (contractors) (defendants) who were involved in designing, constructing, and inspecting a dam that supplied power to APCO. The consumers alleged that the contractors’ negligent construction and inspection of the dam caused the dam to collapse, which resulted in APCO charging the consumers higher prices because APCO had to buy its power from other sources at higher prices and those costs were passed on to the consumers by virtue of a Public Service Commission regulation that allowed APCO to charge its customers proportionately for the increased costs. The trial court granted the contractors’ motion to dismiss. The consumers appealed and alleged that the contractors owed the consumers a duty of care because the contractors could have anticipated that the collapse of the dam would result in higher power costs for the consumers. The consumers argued that the resulting higher prices charged to the consumers by APCO was a reasonably foreseeable result of the contractors’ negligence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beatty, J.)

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