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James Medd successfully defends water company against claim that hillside damaged by escaping sewage

James Medd recently successfully defended Northumbrian Water Limited from claims made against them arising from the alleged fact that one of their sewers was leaking so as to cause a hillside to fail. The technical issue was whether the pipe leaks were causing the slope to fail or vice versa. However the case also raised issues of the extent of NWL’s liability under the Water Industry Act 1991 and whether it was sufficient to establish liability for the Claimants simply to prove a material contribution by any sewage to slope failure, rather than having to satisfy the “but for” test. The judgment of HH Judge Saffman KC 2016 EWHC 133 (TCC) is reported in April on BAILII.


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