Category Archives: Causation

Theoretical Justifications for the “Reliance Bar”: Howmet Ltd v Economy Devices Ltd.

Neil Moody QC and Timothy Killen have published an article on the decision in Howmet in the February/March edition of the Construction Law Journal (Citation (2017) 33 Const L.J. Issue 1), published by Sweet and Maxwell.

You can read it here.

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Filed under Causation, Intervening Acts

Floods and expert evidence: Oldcorn v Southern Water Services Ltd

Oldcorn v Southern Water Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 62 TCC 

This case sets clear limits on the Marcic defence and confirms that where a sewerage undertaker’s owes a private law duty of care, it may not be able to rely upon the more limited Leakey “measured” duty of care.

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Filed under Causation, Duty of Care, Expert Evidence, Floods, Nuisance

Expert reliance: Wheeldon Brothers Waste Ltd v Millennium Insurance Co Ltd

Wheeldon Brothers Waste Ltd v Millennium Insurance Co Ltd [2017] EWHC 218 TCC

This case involved a fire at the Claimant’s waste processing plant. The Claimant sought to recover approximately £1.5 million in damages from the Defendant insurers. During the first CMC, the Claimant sought to prohibit the Defendant insurer from relying on their chosen fire expert, Mr Steven Braund, a forensic expert employed by Hawkins.

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Filed under Causation, Expert Evidence, Fires

2TG Damage Day 2016

Thanks to all those who attended 2TG’s Damage Day 2016. The day was a great success, with a record number of attendees.

A special thanks to the Hon. Mr Justice Coulson who delivered the keynote speech.

 Many thanks to our speakers:

  • Howard Palmer QC who spoke on the problems of causation in contract and negligence based property damages cases
  • Jessica van der Meer who spoke on knowledge of malfunction and attribution of knowledge in property damage cases
  • Sonia Nolten who spoke on the meaning of “reasonable opportunity to abate” in subsidence claims.
  • George Hilton who spoke on procedure & awards under the Party Wall Act 1996
  • Ben Hobby FCA, Dip CII, of RGL Forensics who provided the expert perspective on proving a loss of profits calculation
  • Daniel Crowley & Isabel Barter who spoke on expert evidence & the Ocensa Pipeline Group Litigation Action
  • Andrew Miller QC who spoke on the changing face of mediation in property damage claims.

You can catch some of the highlights of Damage Day 2016 on 2TG’s twitter account: @2TempleGardens

We look forward to seeing you at Damage Day 2017

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Filed under ADR, Breach of contract, Causation, Contribution, Duty of Care, Expert Evidence, Fires, Floods, Insurance, Limitation, Natural Disaster, Nuisance, Party Walls, Procedure

William Clark Partnership Limited v Dock St PCT Limited [2015] EWHC 2923 (TCC)

The claim in brief

The claimant company (“Clark”) was a professional services practice which provided quantity surveying and project management services for the defendant company (“Dock Street”) for a development project involving the construction of a new build primary healthcare centre.

Clark claimed for unpaid fees. Dock Street contended that nothing was due to Clark (because Clark failed to provide specified services in certain key respects resulting in an overspend on the project), and sought repayment of fees already paid, and (in essence) damages for breach of contract and/or professional negligence in the amount of the overspend.

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Filed under Abatement, Causation

Causation goes up in smoke: Lydia Graves v Marinus Gerardus Brouwer [2015] EWCA Civ 595

As the Court of Appeal said, “This is by any standards a bizarre case” (judgment here).

It provides a salutary reminder of the need for courts to avoid falling into The Popi M trap, and the necessity for claimants to prove their cases on causation.

The facts

The Claimant brought a case in negligence against her neighbour for damages resulting from a fire at the Claimant’s property.

Thirty minutes or so before the outbreak of the fire, the Defendant had set fire to four pieces of paper/card in a narrow alleyway which separated their properties. The Defendant’s evidence was that the fire was small and controlled, that he had watched it carefully and that afterwards had used his garden hose to spray water over the ashes and check everything was extinguished.

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Filed under Causation, Fires

Badly designed, badly maintained: causation in fire claims

In Howmet Limited v Economy Devices Limited [2014] EWHC 3933 (TCC), Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart dealt with issues of causation in the (unfortunately) common situation where the Defendant’s deficiently manufactured component was inadequately monitored by the Claimant.

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Filed under Causation, Fires