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Fading Carpet Triggers £575,000 High Court Dispute

Published: 14 October 2014, in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

When bespoke, charcoal grey, carpet tiles laid in a Swiss bank’s swish offices turned an unsightly shade of green when exposed to sunlight, the mishap triggered a spate of colourful – and costly – litigation.

Company A, which had dyed the fading yarn, had paid £575,000 to one of its clients who had replaced the carpet tiles after the bank complained. Company A had then launched proceedings to recover its money from company B, which had supplied a particular red dye which was said to be the source of the problem.

Company A argued that the dye was not of satisfactory quality and that its tendency to fade in sunlight amounted to a breach of contract. It subsequently sought to amend the proceedings to also allege that it had relied upon company B’s technical expertise and that the latter had been negligent.

Company B submitted that the latter claim had been brought too late and that the amendment should not be permitted. However, in allowing company A to pursue its negligence claim, the High Court found that the allegation arose from substantially the same facts as the claim originally pleaded.

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