Litigation Writs 01/07/97

A drummer who fell eight feet from a dark stage into the orchestra pit below, has launched a claim for damages of up to £100,000 against the local authority he blames for the accident. Alan Coulter, 49, who was with the Barbara Dickson Band at the time of the accident, at York's Barbican Theatre in December 1994, claims that he may never be able to resume his career as a drummer. His writ says that it happened as he walked on stage in total darkness. It says he went through a curtain on to the stage and as he walked forwards fell from the edge of the irregularly shaped stage into a pit eight feet below, injuring his left knee and lower back. He claims that two-and-a-half years later he is still suffering the effects of the fall and that it has affected his ability to perform and earn his living as a drummer. Although there is no final prognosis, it is feared his musical career may be permanently impaired by his injuries. The writ accuses York City Council of negligence and breach of statutory duty by failing to take proper safety precautions to prevent a foreseeable accident.

Writ issued by Kanaar and Co, London W

The Government is taking a Widnes company to the High Court in a claim for more than £167,000. It has issued a writ against Rathbone Community Industry, of Widnes, seeking repayment of £167,512. The writ claims that the money was advance funding to the company for employment training and youth training contracts which remains unpaid despite requests for repayment.

Writ issued by Treasury Solicitor

A company has issued a writ against retail chain Next accusing it of infringing copyright in a design for soft furnishings. Emma Jefferson Partnership of Market Harborough, Leicester, which designs and makes a range of wooden nursery furniture and lights, allege that it owns the copyright in drawings of a soldier, a policeman and a fireman, that were created by Charles Jefferson between 1992 and 1995 and which have been marketed and sold in the UK in the form of wooden height charts. It claims that Next has infringed its copyright by marketing and selling interior decorations bearing a printed pattern copyright that it owns, and that Next, which had been alerted to the copyright, was aware of the infringement.

Writ issued by Theodore Goddard, London EC1