Car Accident Because a Downed Powerline Had Cut Off Electercity to the Traffic Signal

In Arenado v. Florida Power & Light Co., 541 So. 2d 612 (Fla. 1989), a collision occurred at an intersection because a downed power line had cut off electricity to the traffic signal. The decedent's family sued Florida Power and Light (FPL), alleging a duty based on FPL's contract with the City. In rejecting that argument, the court relied on H.R. Moch Co. as well as on Mugge and Woodbury. As to H.R. Moch, it quoted Cardozo's discussion of a duty based on contract: In a broad sense it is true that every city contract not improvident or wasteful, is for the benefit of the public. More than this, however, must be shown to give a right of action to a member of the public not formally a party. The benefit, as it is sometimes said, must be one that is not merely incidental and secondary. . . . It must be primary and immediate in such a sense and to such a degree as to bespeak the assumption of a duty to make reparation directly to the individual members of the public if the benefit is lost. Arenado v. Fla. Power & Light Co., 523 So. 2d 628 at 628-29 (quoting H.R. Moch Co., 159 N.E. at 897).