We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies. Close

HOWMET LTD v ECONOMY DEVICES LTD

Construction Law Reporter

HOWMET LTD v ECONOMY DEVICES LTD

Tort - Negligence - Damage by fire - Relevance of knowledge by the claimant of the defect and its reliance upon its own system - Claimant unable to establish that negligence of the defendant was the effective cause of its loss

The claimant's factory suffered substantial damage in a fire. The claimant brought a claim in negligence and for breach of statutory duty against various parties including the defendant, a sub-contractor on the project. The basis on which the claimant brought the claim was that the defendant manufactured a device called a thermolevel, one of the functions of which was to avert the risk of fire. On the night on which the fire occurred the device did not function as it should have done. At the trial of the action between the parties it was found that the thermolevels were unreliable, unpredictable in operation and unacceptable as a critical safety device. Nevertheless, it was held that the claimant was not entitled to succeed with its action because, prior to the fire, it was, by virtue of the knowledge of some of its employees, aware that the thermolevels were not working as intended. The claimant was not therefore relying on the thermolevels as a reliable safety device but was instead relying on its own procedure so that the claim against the defendant failed for want of proof of causation between any breach of duty by the defendant and the loss suffered by the claimant.

The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, please enter your details below to log in.

Enter your email address to log in as a user on your corporate account.
Remember me on this computer

Not yet an i-law subscriber?

Devices

Request a trial Find out more