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"standard" Letter before claim

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  • "standard" Letter before claim

    In brief.
    Defendant householder cut through electricity supply cable encased in concrete under his driveway.
    Claimant repaired the cable
    Claimant says cable was 200mm below surface of driveway
    Claimant issued Letter before Claim(LBC) 4 months later - no previous correspondence and begins "We are now in a position to serve our Letter of Claim pursuant to the Pre Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes.
    Claim is in negligence, claims for it's "losses"
    Included in it's LBC is it's "invoice" for the repair works. (£536)
    Claimant admits that it's LBC is a 'standard' LBC
    Many of the defendant's 'failings" alleged by claimant are simply not relevant e.g failing to properly supervise it's employees & "Failing in all the circumstances to design or implement safe systems of work"
    Defendant made request for information, most of which were refused
    Defendant made formal response to each of the alleged failings.
    Defendant denies liability.
    Claimant says that invoice must be paid within 14 days or it will become "overdue for payment" (14 days not expired yet)
    LBC was, in fact, issued by and signed by a finance assistant in the Claimant's credit control department, who has dealt with the matter throughout.
    Refuses to say whether the "invoice" includes a markup.

    Seems to me that claimant has mixed up two different legal concepts - a claim in negligence and payment of a debt due under contract.

    Any comments welcome.

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Sounds like the wrong protocol has been used, which wouldn't be fatal to a claim, but might make it difficult for the claimant to later claim any costs if he were successful. It's likely a claim in tort, but not a contract claim.

    Has anything further happened?


    • #3
      I agree - it's a claim in negligence - nothing further happened. I have come across a similar claim on here. Seems like the claim will issue just before the limitation period 5 years hence!



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