Building Subcontractors Not Responsible for £6.5 Million Home Flood

In what a judge described as a legal ‘whodunnit’, the High Court was called upon to decide whether building subcontractors bore responsibility for faulty installation of a plumbing unit which caused £6.5 million in flood damage to a luxury home.

There was no dispute that the unit had been defectively installed and that that had caused the flood. The couple who owned the house were compensated by insurers, but the latter sought to recover their loss from a company which had carried out extensive renovation works at the property over a four-year period.

The company denied liability on the basis that it could not be proved that the unit had in fact been installed by its plumbing subcontractors. In upholding those arguments, the Court found on the evidence that it had not been established that the subcontractors had carried out the highly incompetent installation.

There was a real possibility that the defective work had been performed by another tradesman on the premises who was unconnected either to the company or to the subcontractors. In those circumstances, the insurers’ claim was dismissed.