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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am suing my water company damage to my property

Customer Question

i am suing my water company for subsidence damage to my property due to their leaking sewer which has now been relined. in their defence they have stated 'the defendant does not owe a duty to the claimant, or anyone else, to inspect its sewers to check connections and or/blockages. to do so would require the defendant to make a policy decision to divert substantial resources to this kind of exercise. this allegation is not justiceable'
is their argument correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How much are you claiming please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

12k subsidence, 4k internal flooding damage to furniture and 2 k other remedial works to drains

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a surveyors report confirming this as well?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

a surveyor has confirmed the subsidence

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did the surveyor say they were negligent ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

he has indicated that there is evidence that their sewer has been leaking over a long period of time and that has caused the fines to wash away and that has lead to the subsidence

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did the water company know about It?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we were having problems with the drains and as a result i dug up the garden. it was then we found large voids in the soil and around the sewer pipe. the water company inspected the damage and confirmed the sewer was broken. however they are now denying any liability whatsoever!

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. But did they know that it was broken beforehand?
What is the basis for them being negligent? Is it on your land or councils where it has broken?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi, i do not know with respect to the sewer in my garden. they did however reline the whole sewer in 2011. the sewer was broken in my garden

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
So the broken part was that in your garden or the highway?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the sewer in the garden is the main sewer serving all of the houses in the terrace

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes but the part that is broken, is that that on your land?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes, the main sewer runs across my garden

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. You sued for negligence. What are you saying they did that they did not do?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

they failed to maintain their sewer and as a result of the breakages i have suffered subsidence to paths, walls and my garage floor/slab due to their leaking sewer

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes. The difficulty is this you need to prove they are negligent and have a duty to inspect their system. If you can't establish this then any claim will fail. I don't ever recall there being a legal requirement that they are required to inspect. If there is then your claim will succeed, If not it will not succeed.
You should think whether you want to claim for the whole lot of £10,000 to keep it a small claim. If it's a small claim and you lose then you don't pay fees of the other side.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

if i suddenly amend my claim to under 10k can that be objected too?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No. You can go down but not up!
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what about their costs to date?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If its a small claim then it makes no difference, they are not entitled to costs.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes but if the claim started above 10k what happens now if i amend to bring it under 10k?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If now you amend it will be a small claim.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

does it matter what stage the claim has gone so far. i.e the fact that the defendant has served their defence etc

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No. You can amend your claim and value it lower.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i am looking to amend my claim to bring it under 10k. the problem i have is that i had itemised various aspects of my claim i.e. a quote for the main repairs, figure for additional works, surveyors fees etc etc. the total of those came to well over 10k. what is the best way to amend my claim?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You just need to inform the other side your claim is now £10,000 to keep it as a small claim.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

do i need to amend the claim i.e. change the figures etc

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Only when you get the directions questionnaire. Say you are lowering the value.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we have got as far as directions which have been filed at the court

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. If it has not been allocated yet you are ok. Make a formal application to court to amend your claim and lower to £10k
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi do i need to give any explanation or do i just reduce the final sum claimed. as i asked above what do i do if the original quotes for the works add up to more than 10k? any amendments do they have to be struck through in red and any new figures in red?

cheers

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No you can just reduce it. Yes strike through figures you are not claiming for in red and any new ones in red.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi on what form do i make the application and when i do do i just state i' i wish to amend my particulars of claim as attached'?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
N244
Yes and say why,.
Alex

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