Lower Payette Ditch Co. v. HarveyAnnotate this Case
Defendants Robert and Margaret Harvey owned 220 acres of farmland near a section of irrigation canal owned by Plaintiff Lower Payette Ditch Company. The canal delivered water to approximately 490 landowners and 13,000 acres of irrigated farmland. Defendants pumped water from Plaintiff's canal to irrigate their farmland. In 2009, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants, alleging that Defendants' irrigation of their land on a bluff caused landslides in 2003 and 2006 which damaged the canal. As a result of the 2006 landslide, a neighboring landowner whose property was also damaged sued both Plaintiff and Defendants which resulted in a jury verdict, assigning 5% of the damages to Plaintiff and 95% to Defendants. Plaintiff and Defendants eventually settled their dispute, and the district court entered a judgment adopting the parties' stipulation. Defendants then sought an award of attorney fees, and Plaintiff objected. The district court granted the objection, holding that there was no clear prevailing party." On appeal to the Supreme Court the issue was whether the district court erred in finding there was no prevailing party. The Court found that Defendants failed to show that the district court abused its discretion in determining that there was no overall prevailing party, and affirmed the lower court's decision.