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The scope of a structural designer’s duty of care and the date of accrual of a cause of action

Building Law Monthly

The scope of a structural designer’s duty of care and the date of accrual of a cause of action

In BDW Trading Ltd v URS Corporation Ltd [2021] EWHC 2796 (TCC), Fraser J answered a number of preliminary issues on the basis of an assumed set of facts in relation to the scope of the duty of care owed by the defendant structural designers to the claimant in respect of the development of a number of properties. Fraser J held that, with the exception of claims brought in respect of damage to the claimant’s reputation, the losses claimed by the claimant were in principle recoverable in a tort action, being principally for the cost of repairing the defects in the property. He also held that the claimant’s cause of action accrued at the latest on the date of practical completion of the works and that knowledge of the existence of the defects was not required in order to complete the cause of action.

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