0370 270 6000

Smith v Peter Norton & Partners

16 October 2001
The issues

Professional negligence – Surveyors – Measure of damages.

The facts

Claimants engaged Defendants Surveyor to carry out structural survey on a property which they wanted to buy. The Report said that the property was in poor condition. It was bought by the Claimants for £330,000, a reduction of approximately £20-30,000 as a result of the findings of the Report. Three years later Claimants issued proceedings against the Surveyor alleging he had failed to advise them of the real structural condition of the property, in particular the main timber frame. They argued that the cost of repairs was £130,000 to which should be added cost of alternative accommodation. The Judge at first instance struck out the Claimants argument as to the appropriate measure of damages accepting the Defendants argument, that the appropriate measure was the diminution in value and not the cost of repairs.

The Claimant Appealed.

The decision

The Judge had acted appropriately in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules in disposing of
a case that had no prospects of success. An award of damages should place the Claimant in a position he would have been had the work not been done, and not put him in a better position. Had the Claimants figures been awarded a substantial injustice would have occurred. There was no arguable basis on which to award the cost of repairs over the diminution in value.

Focus on...

Press releases

Browne Jacobson wins Inclusion & Diversity Award at the National Insurance Awards 2022

Insurance law firm Browne Jacobson has won the Inclusion & Diversity Award at the National Insurance Awards 2022. The National Insurance Awards are judged by an independent panel of experts and celebrate excellence in the sector by highlighting the very best in general insurance provision and management.

View

Blogs

Payment Fraud landscape shaped by technology in 2021

Payment systems across Europe are under increased pressure to mitigate fraud risks and defend against persistent attacks from enablers using ever more sophisticated and malicious viruses and malware.

View

Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.

View

Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up