Paul N. Howard Co. v. Aqueduct

744 F.2d 880 (1984) | Cited 30 times | First Circuit | October 11, 1984

Before Coffin, Bownes and Breyer, Circuit Judges.


Having carefully considered the petition of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) for rehearing, we determine that it should be denied. We perceive no ground for reconsidering our conclusions with respect to the existence of a differing site condition, and we remain equally convinced that PRASA enjoys no Eleventh Amendment immunity.

With respect to the latter issue, we note that the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has in two persuasive opinions reasoned that PRASA, by statute is a public corporation, "a personality separate and apart from that of the government", which statute "depriv[es] it of the protection of sovereign immunity traditionally enjoyed by the State." Canchani v. C.R.U.V., 105 D.P.R. 352, 356-57 & n.2 (1976); A.A.A. v. Union Empleados A.A.A., 105 D.P.R. 437, 455-57 (1976). While Eleventh Amendment immunity is a federal question, we deem highly significant for the purpose of determining at least whether a state has waived any immunity to suit in federal court the pronouncements of that state's highest court clearly indicating the propriety of treating PRASA as a separate entity generally. Long v. Richardson, 525 F.2d 74, 79 (6th Cir. 1975).

Accordingly, PRASA's petition for rehearing is denied.

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