Aerospace Publishing Ltd and Another v Thames Water Utilities Ltd: CA 11 Jan 2007

A substantial private archive of valuable books had been damaged when the defendant’s water mains burst. The court was asked to assess the value.
Held: The water company’s appeal failed save to a small extent. The articles were of substantial value but were neither readily marketable nor uniquely valuable. Though the judge’s decision was open to criticism, he was not incorrect to refuse to provide particularised responses to each submission made. As to the claim for diverted management time, the court set out the applicable principles: ‘(a) The fact and, if so, the extent of the diversion of staff time have to be properly established and, if in that regard evidence which it would have been reasonable for the claimant to adduce is not adduced, he is at risk of a finding that they have not been established.
(b) The claimant also has to establish that the diversion caused significant disruption to its business.
(c) Even though it may well be that strictly the claim should be cast in terms of a loss of revenue attributable to the diversion of staff time, nevertheless in the ordinary case, and unless the defendant can establish the contrary, it is reasonable for the court to infer from the disruption that, had their time not been thus diverted, staff would have applied it to activities which would, directly or indirectly, have generated revenue for the claimant in an amount at least equal to the costs of employing them during that time.’


[2007] EWCA Civ 3, Times 22-Jan-2006, [2007] Bus LR 726, 2007] CILL 2429, [2007] NPC 5, 110 Con LR 1, [2007] 3 Costs LR 389




Water Industry Act 1991 209


England and Wales


CitedSouthampton Container Terminals Ltd v Hansa Schiffahrts GmbH (The Maersk Colombo) CA 3-May-2001
The claimants operated the container terminal in Southampton. A crane was struck and damaged beyond repair by the defendants’ vessel. The crane was not replaced because before the casualty the claimants had ordered two new cranes. Loss of use of the . .
CitedTate and Lyle Distribution v Greater London Council 1982
The defendants were liable to the claimants for having failed to dredge silt which they had caused to be accumulated when constructing new piers for the Woolwich ferry and which had obstructed the claimants’ use of their barge moorings. The result . .
CitedHorace Holman Group Ltd v Sherwood International Group Ltd TCC 2001
The defendants were to pay damages after failing to provide an adequate software package. The claimants included a claim for wasted time by their directors and staff in struggling with the inadequacies of the software provided.
Held: The claim . .
CitedStandard Chartered Bank v Pakistan National Shipping Corporation; Seaways Maritime Limited; Oakprime International Limited; Arvind Mehra and Sgs United Kingdom Limited CA 26-Jan-2001
As part of its attempt to mitigate its loss caused by deceit perpetrated in relation to it by the defendants, the claimant bank presided over the sale of a cargo of bitumen in Vietnam. To do this, it sent one of its officers, to Vietnam on two . .
CitedAdmiral Management Services Ltd v Para-Protect Europe Ltd and Others ChD 4-Mar-2002
The claimants suspected the defendants of wrongfully using their confidential information. Their staff made an initial investigation. They obtained a search and seizure order; and the material seized was examined by the staff. A Tomlin Order was . .
CitedDarbishire v Warran CA 30-Jul-1963
Damages were claimed for a damaged car.
Held: Pearson LJ said: ‘It is vital, for the purpose of assessing damages fairly between the plaintiff and the defendant, to consider whether the plaintiff’s course of action was economic or uneconomic, . .
CitedBP Exploration Co (Libya) Ltd v Hunt (No. 2) 1982
The court considered the application of interest to damages: ‘the basic principle . . that interest will be awarded from the date of loss’ and ‘the mere fact that it is impossible for the defendant to quantify the sum due until judgment has been . .
CitedR+V Versicherung Ag v Risk Insurance and Reinsurance Solutions Sa and others ComC 27-Jan-2006
It had held that the defendant insurance intermediaries were liable to the claimants, a German reinsurance company, because of a conspiracy to defraud the claimants on the part of one of the defendants’ employees. The court had to decide issues of . .
CitedJaura v Ahmed CA 21-Feb-2002
The applicant sought damages for the wrongful termination of her lease by the respondent. The landlords re-entered in default of payment of the rent. The premises had been sub-let, and she sought damages for the loss of rental profits.
Held: . .
CitedKaines (UK) Ltd v Osterreichische Warrenhandelsgesellschaft Austrowaren Gesellschaft mbH CA 1993
In June 1987 the defendants repudiated a contract to sell the claimant’s crude oil for lifting in September 1987 and for payment in October 1987. The claimants thereupon contracted to buy the oil at a higher price, again for lifting in September . .
Appeal fromAerospace Publishing Ltd and Another v Thames Water Utilities Ltd QBD 13-Jan-2006
Whether respondents liable for damage from leak from mains water pipe – calculation of damages. . .

Cited by:

CitedCheltenham Borough Council v Laird QBD 15-Jun-2009
The council sought damages saying that their former chief executive had not disclosed her history of depressive illness when applying for her job.
Held: The replies were not dishonest as the form could have been misconstrued. The claim failed. . .
CitedMr H TV Ltd v ITV2 Ltd ComC 8-Oct-2015
The claimant had contracted with the defendant for the production of a series of reality TV shows featuring celebrities. After severe personal clashes between the people involved on the claimants side, the contract was terminated. The claim was that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Utilities

Updated: 09 July 2022; Ref: scu.247677