Litigation Writs 26/5/98

Two young children who were hurt in a car crash in which their mother and another woman were killed are suing for compensation. Widower Christopher Holland and his two children, Emily and Oliver, have issued a High Court writ against Alec Roberts, executor of the estate of the late Hilda Roberts, blaming her for the accident. The accident happened as Phillipa Holland drove her two children, then aged four and three, along the A43 at Duddington. The writ claims that Mrs Roberts suddenly drove onto the wrong side of the road and collided head on with the other vehicle. Both women drivers were killed and the children were injured.

Writ issued by Edward Lewis, London WC1

The Department of Transport (DoT), is heading for a High Court battle with Shropshire County Council over compensation payments following a road accident. The DoT had been sued by a man and a woman injured in a 1991 road crash and, in turn, is now seeking indemnification from the council in respect of the claim. Its writ seeks an indemnity in respect of money paid, or to be paid, to the claimants.

Writ issued by the Treasury Solicitor.

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation (P&O), Princess Cruises and Princes Cruises, owners of the cruise ship Dawn Princess, are suing 55 insurance companies and Lloyd's underwriters for damages in respect of compensation paid to passengers. A writ issued by the P&O companies says they had to pay US$3,997,400 to passengers and third parties after cruises in 1991 went wrong. The writ says problems began on 27 July 1991 when the Dawn Princess left Anchorage on a seven-day cruise to Vancouver with trouble in the starboard condenser and the boiler feed system, followed by leaks in the tubes to the B boiler economiser. It underwent temporary repairs when it reached Vancouver, but the writ says that after it left it was discovered the repairs had been unsuccessful so it returned to Vancouver. The cruise had to be abandoned and the next scheduled cruise had to be reorganised. The P&O companies made passenger refunds and travel credits totalling US$3,997,400, but claim that the insurance companies have wrongfully, and in breach of contract, refused to meet their liabilities to P&O.

Writ issued by Richards Butler, London EC3.