Litigation Writs 22/2/99

A man who was badly hurt in an accident at the base at RAF Coningsby in June 1995 has launched High Court action against the Ministry of Defence. The writ claims that injuries received by Mark Anderson in an accident – the nature of which is not specified – were the result of negligence and breach of statutory duty on the part of the MoD.

Writ issued by Thim bleby Fisher, Spilsby, Lincolnshire

Property consultancy Chesterton is being sued for damages of more than u500,000 in a dispute over a coat of paint. A writ issued against it, and solicitors Thomas Eggar Church Adams, by Britannia life claims Chesterton failed to point out that only two coats of paint – instead of three – had been used to redecorate offices leased in Sheffield. It claims that, as a result, Britannia Life was unable to give up the lease and is now obliged to continue with it until the year 2016, at a current rent of u30,500 a year. Britannia accuses Chestertons and Thomas Eggar Church Adams of breach of contract and negligence. It says it retained Chesterton to act as manager for the property that Britannia had leased at 12 O'Clock Court in Sheffield in 1991. The lease obliged Britannia to carry out repairs, including painting the property with three coats of good quality paint. In March 1995, Britannia told Chesterton it wished to operate a break clause in the lease in 1996, and asked it to ensure the lease obligations had been complied with so that the break clause could be used. It claims, that following advice from Chesterton and the solicitors, it gave its landlord, Osborne Assets, notice and a cheque in September 1995, but that Osborne returned the cheque saying Britannia had not complied with its lease obligations. Nevertheless, Britannia vacated the property. But it was later sued by Osborne in December 1997, and a Liverpool County Court judge held that it had not complied with the lease as only two coats of paint, instead of three, had been used in the internal repainting work. The writ claims Chesterton was negligent for failing to ensure three coats of paint were used, and that Thomas Eggar Church Adams was negligent for failing to point out that the work was insufficient to operate the break clause, and that the overwhelming likelihood was that it would fail in defending the claim. As a result of what happened, Britannia says that, although it has no further use for the building, it has been left with a lease which will continue until 24 March 2016.

Writ issued by Memery Crystal, London WC1

Burnham on Crouch woman, Sylvia Mansfield, has launched a damages action against Paul Hilliard of Wickford, Essex, over injuries she received in an accident on the A127 at Laindon, Essex, in December 1995.

Writ issued by Jacobs, London EC1

London-based McNicholas is suing Kent-based AEI Cables for u725,607, VAT of u126,981 and interest in respect of the cost of cable laying work at the Willesden, London. Its writ says AEI, a division of General Electric Co, has paid u423,759 plus VAT out of a total bill for the work of u1,149,366 and says that the money now claimed constitutes the outstanding balance.

Writ issued by Shadbolt & Co, Reigate