Litigation Writs 6/3/00

A Chester-le-Street company has mounted a High Court claim for nearly £8.5m following a disastrous explosion on 28 January 1997. Union Camp Chemicals, which now trades as Arizona Chemicals, is suing CRL of Waterlooville, Hampshire, and Autoflame Engineering of Bellingham, London SE6, for damages of more than £7m and £1.47m interest. In its claim Union Camp accuses the companies of negligence and breach of contract in respect of the explosion. Union Camp makes products for use in adhesives and printing inks, and distilled crude tall oil. In 1997 CRL installed a new boiler at its plant at Vigo Lane but Union Camp claims that when Autoflame began commissioning the system several days later, it exploded causing extensive damage to the plant. It is alleged that CRL was negligent and in breach of its duties in respect of the installation and that Autoflame was negligent for failing to set up the boiler in accordance with procedures in its manual.

Claim issued by Hextall Erskine, London

m Inverclyde Council of Greenock is suing architects FaulknerBrowns, of Newcastle upon Tyne in respect of the company’s work on a leisure centre at Greenock Waterfront and a swimming pool at Port Glasgow. The council alleges that the cost of the project is likely to double from the £13m originally projected. It alleges the architects were in breach of their appointment and that they failed to carry out necessary studies and failed to advise properly on the feasibility of the project.

Claim issued by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, London

Three members of a Colchester family and a woman from Dublin have launched High Court action in London against a package holiday tour company. The claim against Inspirations East is for compensation over injuries sustained in a coach crash in Kenya on 4 January 1996. Michael and Dolores Rose and their daughter Emma from Colchester, and Teresa Lawlor from Dublin, claim the crash and their resulting injuries were caused by negligent driving on the part of the coach driver and that the holiday company is liable.

Claims issued by Birkett Long, Colchester and Barnes, Ipswich

A £3m damages claim has been launched by the Corporation of London against British Gas in respect of a gas explosion which wrecked seven storey office block Greenly House, London EC3 in 1993. The explosion is alleged to have been caused by gas which leaked from a cracked cast iron pipe. The claim is brought by the corporation and the building’s leaseholders Embassy Greenly, which is in administrative receivership. They claim that the eight inch gas pipe should have been replaced as it was at particular risk of fracture, and that British Gas should have recognised that an explosion was likely to cause many deaths, personal injuries, and serious damage to property. They allege British Gas was negligent in failing to abandon or replace the pipe, to keep close liaison with the local authority, and to carry out proper site surveys.

Claim issued by Davies Arnold Cooper, London