Last edited 13 Apr 2013

Whessoe Oil and Gas & Cleveland Bridge UK Limited v Dale

Whessoe Oil and Gas & Cleveland Bridge UK Limited v Dale [2012] EWHC 1788 (TCC) - 29/06/12

The Defendant sought to strike out the First Claimant's Particulars of Claim and seek summary judgement against the First Claimant on the basis that they disclosed no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim or otherwise, as amounting to an abuse of the Court's process.

The Claimant issued proceedings against its managing director, who was the construction project manager on an unsuccessful project. The Claimant claimed that the Defendant had breached his statutory duties as a director and his contract in respect of management of the project. Following exchange of expert reports into project management, the Defendant argued the claim should be struck out because the expert's report was insufficient to support a case of breach of duty.

The Court considered Pantelli Associates v Corporate City Developments [2010 EWHC 3189 (TCC)]where it had been held that an expert's report was necessary to plead professional negligence. In this case the Court held that the expert report was not a necessary preliminary as the Defendant's obligations were as employee and director and differed from the question of an assumption of responsibility by an independent contractor considered in Pantelli, even though both involved the issue of reasonable skill and care.

The Judge therefore adjourned the Defendant's striking out application on terms that the Claimants must provide full particulars of the breaches of duty relied upon, of the losses claimed and of causation of such losses, such particulars to include all material facts upon which the Claimants rely.

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