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WSP court ruling a warning to serial claimants

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A CLAIM against consultant WSP was thrown out of the High Court last week as a 'waste of public time and money' after the plaintiff had previously sued the project contractor and insurer.

Head of construction and engineering for WSP's solicitor Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, Richard Moody, said that the ruling was a warning to firms that believe they can recover damages by suing one party after another involved in a project.

'This case is also important because the court has shown its willingness to protect defendants from being hounded over the same issue again and again, ' said Moody.

Supermarket chain Aldi was suing WSP over a store it claims needed to be rebuilt. It had originally claimed in excess of £3M in damages against main contractor Holmes Building.

After failing to recoup the full amount due to the contractor's insolvency, the store chain went after Holmes' insurers.

he action failed and Aldi subsequently sued WSP.

The claim was struck out by Judge Rupert Jackson QC at the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) last Monday.

The judgment demonstrates the TCC's willingness to fl ex its muscles if it is perceived that the proceedings will either injure the public interest or vex or oppress parties and witnesses who have already been the subject of litigation, ' said Moody.

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