Litigation Writs 20/9/99

Two widows whose husbands died when the main rotor fell off their helicopter are taking the company which owned the aircraft to the High Court. Helen Husler of Epworth, Doncaster, whose husband Peter was flight observer on the Augusta Bell Jet Ranger 111, and Engelberta Thorne of Weybridge, Surrey, whose husband Peter was pilot, are suing Yorkshire Helicopter Centre. They allege that the Sheffield-based company, now in liquidation, was negligent in its maintenance of the helicopter. At the time of the crash, near the M6 in Lancashire on 11 August 1997, the two men were inspecting gas lines. The claim says the main rotor fell off the helicopter. One blade struck the nose and the aircraft plunged to the ground. It says that the helicopter must have been defective, as a properly-maintained helicopter would not have suffered rotor detachment. Mr Thorne, who was 53, had flown for a total of 3,412 hours, including 3,060 flying the Augusta Bell Jet Ranger, and had worked for Yorkshire Helicopter carrying out gas pipeline inspections and other surveys. Father-of-three Peter Husler, 38, worked for the company as a flight observer for about four-and-a-half years.

Claims issued by Clark Ricketts, London WC2, and EN Hamilton & Co, Grantham, Yorkshire.

Streete Court Leisure is suing Crystal Palace Football Club in a bid to make the club share occupation of the Football Academy at Streete Court School, Tandridge, Surrey. Streete Court is seeking an order to make Crystal Palace share the property on the terms of a 1998 contract said to have been signed by both the company and the football club. Conditions of the shared use are said to have included payment of rent and other outgoings.

Claim issued by Titmuss Sainer Dechert, London EC4.

Chartered surveyors Fleurets is heading for a High Court confrontation with pub owners JD Wetherspoon. Fluerets claims it was sacked from a contract to provide services relating to the rating of Wetherspoon's pubs between April 1995 and March 2000. Fleurets seeks damages of around £500,000 to compensate for losses it is claiming as a result of what happened. It says it suffered substantial loss and damage and accuses Wetherspoon of breach of contract.

Claim issued by Reid Minty, London W1.

Asda Stores is being sued for damages of more than £700,000 in a dispute over a contract for lighting services. Planned Lighting Maintenance accuses Asda of a breach of contract in refusing to allow the company access to its stores from March this year, and by refusing to pay for work carried out. In its claim the Hampshire-based company seeks damages of £415,376.43 for breach of contract and payments of £16,092.81, £271,643.41 and £8,327.65 for work it claims it carried out in August 1998. The total contract is said to have been worth £2.25m plus VAT, from which Planned Lighting expected to make a profit of 9 per cent.

Claim issued by Fenwick Elliott, London WC2.