APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Dudley W. Windes, Judge. Judgment reversed.
Messrs. Woolf & Shute, for Appellants.
Messrs. Cox & Cox and Mr. Herbert Watson, for Appellees.
[60 Ariz. 210] STANFORD, J.
On June 3, 1940, appellees moved into a community east and adjacent to the City of Phoenix, and the first part of July, 1940, commenced buying their domestic water from the Maricopa Utilities Co., owned at that time by Charles A. Estey and Ira W. Bellinger. The place of residence of the appellees was 1905 East Grant Street, in the Rayburn Tract. The said Charles A. Estey, in the month of September of that year, applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission [60 Ariz. 211] for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the operation of a water utility under the name of Maricopa Utilities Co., for the purpose of furnishing domestic water to their customers, especially in the said Rayburn Tract; that said certificate was granted on the 30th day of September, 1940. About the time of their application for same the said Estey and Bellinger entered into a contract of employment with appellants H. W. Wittman and Edwin C. Hoelzen to operate said utility, which contract was dated September 25, 1940, and to run for a period of five years beginning September 1st of said year.
The appellees made their first purchase of water at the rate of $2 per month in the early part of July. On the 20th day of September they made a payment of $6 for water service, being payment to January 1, 1941.
The order of the Arizona Corporation Commission, granting the aforesaid Certificate
of Convenience and Necessity included the following paragraph:
"A prompt payment deposit of $5.00 will be collected for each single residence. A deposit of an amount equal to an average two months bill will be collected in all other cases."
Appellees brought their action for damages alleging that the appellants wrongfully cut off their water thereby causing great inconvenience in the procuring of the necessary drinking and domestic water, and caused appellees to suffer great mental and physical pain and anguish and they were greatly humiliated, all to the damage of $2,000.
Appellants allege in their answer that on the 11th day of October, 1940, acting under the power and authority of the aforesaid contract and in accordance with the order of the Arizona Corporation Commission, they notified their customers, including the appellees herein, of the action of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and included in the letter the paragraph heretofore referred [60 Ariz. 212] to concerning prompt payment deposit, and again on November 2, 1940, the appellees, having failed to make said deposit, were notified that on the 18th day of October, unless the payment was made, the water service would be discontinued, and the deposit not having been made, on the 18th day of November the appellants did discontinue the water service.
In the trial of this cause verdict for the appellees was rendered by a jury in the ...