JOHN INNES FOUNDATION AND OTHERS v VERTIV INFRASTRUCTURE LTD (FORMERLY EMERSON NETWORK POWER LTD)
 EWHC 19 (TCC), Technology and Construction Court, Mr Roger Ter Haar QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, 17 January 2020
Damage by fire – Whether duty of care owed – Significance of contract structure – Liability for failure to act
The claimants brought an action against the defendant in which they sought to recover damages in respect of a fire which broke out at the Genome Centre at Norwich Research Park on 7 March 2015. The first claimant was the freeholder owner of the property, while the second, third and fourth claimants occupied and had leasehold interests in different parts of the property. The defendant is a specialist in the maintenance and repair of standby power equipment, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). At the time of the fire the defendant supplied its services to the property via a contract with NBI Partnership, which acted as a managing agent in relation to the property. It was alleged that the defendant had failed to carry out its obligations under that contract to maintain the UPS system and that, had it done so, the fire would not have occurred.
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