Litigation Writs 29/11/94

Bristol wine producer Hiram Walker (1992) has launched a claim over a disaster which resulted in contamination of thousands of bottles of wine. It claims the wine was contaminated with resin beads from a water softener in the company's premises at Whitchurch Lane, Bristol. In its writ it claims wine worth u463,000 was contaminated, and that although it was able to save some by decanting it, it was still left with losses of u296,000. The company is suing consulting engineers Integrated Engineering Projects, of Frimley, Surrey. This company was project manager when Hiram Walker moved from Kingston upon Thames to Bristol in 1989, and designed the water services that included the water softener.

Writ issued by Berrymans, London EC2. H1632

JCB operator, Richard Gaffney, 55, who was badly injured after being crushed by a runaway dumper truck, is suing his former employers Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering and dumper truck hirers Pickerings Plant (Measham), of Measham, Derbyshire. Gaffney was trapped for about 30 minutes during the incident and needed oxygen for the extreme pain. Afterwards he was in hospital for a month with fractures to his right kneecap, left leg, a vertebra, cuts, bruising and shock.

Writ issued by Rowe and Maw, London EC4, agents for Versluys and Co, Staines. G1769

A pilot forced to make an emergency landing after the engine of his light aircraft failed is suing the company which sold him the aircraft's engine. Michael Berry of Binfield, Surrey, is claiming against CSE Aviation, of Oxford Airport, Kidlington, Oxford.

He blames the incident on the Textron Lycoming engine he bought from the company in May 1991 for his Piper PA24-260 Comanche aircraft.

In the incident, on 11 October 1991, he had been planning to fly from Blackbushe Airfield in Hampshire to Guernsey but shortly after take-off there was a puff of smoke and an oily smell in the cabin.

The writ says he turned back to the airfield, but the engine subsequently lost all power and he had to make an emergency landing in a field in Hampshire, crashing into a fence. He blames the loss of engine power on a defect in the lubrication system and the big end bearings, and puts the cost of recovering the plane and repairs at u34,092.

Writ issued by Beaumont and Son London E1. B2766