A printing press which suffered damage due to water leakage from a mains pipe has been awarded damages after a judge found that the Water Services Corporation was responsible for its upkeep. 

The corporation was ordered to pay €31,563 in damages to the owners of Agius Printing Press of Floriana, which had complained that water from a damaged T-joint in the pipe caused €23,000 worth of damage to equipment. Not all damage was some covered by the company’s insurance policy.

The First Hall of the Civil Court, presided by Mr Justice Grazio Mercieca, noted that negligence on the part of the defendants was “certainly” a factor.

The court heard how the same pipe had leaked on previous occasions and it was therefore up to the corporation to ensure it did not happen again. It also noted that the leaking T-joint was inside the building rather than outside as it should have been. 

The court ruled that lack of cooperation by owners of overlying apartments was not a good enough excuse to exculpate the corporation as it had installed the joint inside the building in the first place. 

The court also found that there was no evidence of contributory negligence on the part of the printing press. 

The plaintiffs also requested damages for loss of earnings.

In quantifying the damages, the judge noted that a server worth €7,593 was rendered unusable. The printing press also could not afford the €15,060 needed for new software to run it, leading to loss of earnings amounting to €8,910.

The court said total amount of damages stood at €31,563, which it ordered WSC to pay, with interest.

Lawyers Ray Zammit and Thomas Zammit appeared for Agius Printing Press. Lawyer Abigail Critien and Christopher Vella represented WSC.

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