Southern Gas wins Thames dispute

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Southern Gas can recover compensation payments made to its customers following damage caused by Thames Water.

The issue arose after Thames were notified of a burst water main but took no action. Water from the leak damaged a gas pipe and entered the network.

This meant Southern Gas had to compensate customers who had their supply interrupted.

It tried to recover the compensation payments from Thames Water but a judge ruled that they were not recoverable as they did not constitute "expenses reasonably incurred in making good damage" under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (the Act).

The judge also dismissed a negligence claim, which would have allowed Southern to recover payments under common law.

Southern took the case to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in its favour.

It held that while the judge was right to conclude that the company couldn’t claim compensation under the Act, he was wrong on the other issue because it was possible to pursue the negligence claim under common law.

For more details contact Mark Oakley - 020 8290 7337

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