Construction (Asbestos) Case Study

Claim against an electrical contractor & an asbestos removal sub-contractor

We were asked to act for a school in its claim against an electrical contractor and an asbestos removal sub-contractor which caused extensive contamination of the school buildings and all equipment and property as a consequence of the negligent removal of asbestos ceiling tiles during a routine electrical re-wiring operation.

The strategy:

Working closely with an experienced asbestos consultant who had been engaged by the school to supervise the work of decontamination following the incident and to assist with project managing the removal of any asbestos that remained within the fabric of the building. A claim was formulated, valued at several million pounds, against the electrical contractor and the asbestos removal sub-contractor.

The case required meticulous preparation in terms of compiling the evidence of the school staff and collating extensive documentary records, to demonstrate the maintenance of asbestos over the years by the school, and to justify all of the expenditure that had been incurred by the school in dealing with the asbestos contamination.

A team of experts was coordinated to provide expert opinion on the spread of the contamination, the likely effect of the contamination on human health and, from a quantity surveyor, the reasonableness of the expenditure incurred by the school in replacing equipment and refurbishing the buildings.

The outcome:

This was multi-party litigation conducted in the Technology and Construction Court. A mediation failed to secure a settlement on the day but prompted further negotiations leading to an out of court compromise between the school and the electrical contractor. That party subsequently pursued the asbestos sub-contractor and secured a complete indemnity from that party.

If you need advice and help with a dispute, contact us today.