David T Morrison and Co Ltd v ICL Plastics Ltd and Others: SCS 9 Mar 2012

Outer House – Opinion – In May 2004 an explosion at the defenders factory caused nine deaths. A pipeline carrying LPG gas had not been assessed for risks. Morrison owned neighbouring premises which were damaged. They began an action for damages. The defenders said that the claim was out of time, but the claimants said that the period for prescription did not begin until the creditor could reasonably have known that the defender might be at fault.
Held: The defence succeeded, applying the doctrine res ipsa loquitur in this particular situation. Under section 11(3) it was the pursuer who must show that it did not have actual or constructive awareness that loss caused by negligence had occurred. The question was whether Morrison knew, or could using reasonable diligence have found out, that it had a stateable prima facie claim arising out of the explosion. The identity of the obligant, the prospects of success and the precise extent of the damage were not relevant. The explosion within ICL’s factory allowed a presumption of negligence in accordance with the principle of res ipsa loquitur. In the absence of any explanation for the explosion, Morrison was entitled to infer that the owner and occupier was responsible for the explosion.
Lord Woolman
[2012] ScotCS CSOH – 44, 2012 SLT 813, 2012 GWD 12-236, 2012 Rep LR 118
Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
See AlsoICL Plastics Ltd and Others, Re Application for Judicial Review SCS 11-Mar-2005
The applicants were concerned at the decision to exclude them from their premises to investigate the cause of an explosion leading to the collapse of the factory. . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromDavid T Morrison and Co Ltd (T/A Gael Home Interiors) v ICL Plastics Ltd and Another SCS 14-Mar-2013
Extra Division – Inner House – An explosion at the defenders’ neighbouring premises had damaged those of the pursuer. The defenders now appealed against a finding that the claim was out of time calculated from the time when it had sufficient . .
At Outer HouseDavid T Morrison and Co Ltd (T/A Gael Home Interiors) v ICL Plastics Ltd and Others SC 30-Jul-2014
The claimant sought damages after an explosion at the defender’s nearby premises damaged its shop. The defender said that the claim was out of time, and now appealed against a decision that time had not begun to run under the 1973 Act.
Held: . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 March 2021; Ref: scu.452213