Litigation Writs28/2/00

A couple who have to regularly pump water out of their new billiards room despite spending more than £1m on building work are suing architect Charles Brice for damages of more than £500,000. The below-ground billiards room was built only yards away from an artesian spring in Maida Vale, where the couple live. Immediately after the space for the room was dug out, it filled up with water, and despite various building works, it remains unsatisfactory. The home-owners, Gerard De Thame and Rachel Colover, are suing Mayfair architect Charles Brice, who trades as Charles Brice Architects, for compensation for alleged breach of contract and negligence. They say he failed to warn them of possible problems with water coming into the billiards room and failed to advise them to have a soil investigation carried out. They claim that had it not been for the architect's negligence, the work would have been completed for £514,929 instead of the £1, 046,412.70 it actually cost.

Claim issued by Mishcon de Reya, London

A labourer whose legs were crushed when an iron girder fell on him is suing for damages. Ralph Finnegan had been working at London Bridge Underground Station when the accident happened in January 1997. A dumper truck crashed into the 20-feet-long girder, which had been raised from the ground, making it fall across Finnegan's legs. He needed surgery and has been left disadvantaged on the labour market as a result of the accident. He is suing WW Building and Civil Engineering, of Middlesex, Taylor Woodrow of London, and Costain of Maidenhead for negligence.

Claim issued by David Levene & Co, London

Central Research Laboratories of Hayes, Middlesex, are suing Ask Communications of St Albans, Hertfordshire, for £158,490.63 allegedly due under invoices for services rendered, goods sold and delivered, and loss of profit. Central Research, a company which provides research and development services, says that despite demands Ask failed to pay any of the sums invoiced under a contract. The agreement between the parties was then cancelled. Ask's alleged breach of contract and repudiation is said to have prevented Central Research from benefiting from the remainder of the contract, and the company estimates it has lost £101,275.13. Ask sells, distributes and installs communications technology.

Claim issued by Barnett Alexander Chart, London

FPD Savills is heading for a High Court breach of contract confrontation over loss of commission on the sale of a property in Hampstead. Savills, and Hampstead-based Goldschmidt & Howland are suing Alon Demol over the £1.7m sale of the property in Hampstead in 1998. The companies say that the introduction of the purchaser through a third party was at a time when they had joint agency rights and that they are entitled to commission. Although Demol has been billed for £49,937.50 – 2.5 per cent of the sale price – he has refused to pay.

Claim issued by Monier-Williams & Boxalls, London