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Interserve hit by Swansea City FC legal action

Swansea City FC has taken legal action against Interserve over alleged defects found following the construction of its Liberty Stadium.

The Championship club is seeking damages of £1.3m against Interserve and Swansea Council relating to alleged defects at the stadium, with the case set to be heard in October.

Interserve began work on the £27m project in 2003, with the stadium officially opening in July 2005.

Swansea Stadium Management Company, which is owned by the club, brought forward two claims against Interserve last year: an ‘Original Construction’ claim and a ‘Clause 16’ claim.

The Original Construction claim revolves around allegations that the design and construction of the stadium’s concourse flooring and the supply, construction and painting of steelwork was defective.

It also alleged that the concourse and mezzanine flooring had inadequate resistance to foot traffic causing visitors to slip and fall, while the delamination of paint on its steel structural elements allegedly led to corrosion.

The Clause 16 claim alleges that Interserve failed to identify and rectify flooring and paintwork defects, which was required under its contractual obligations.

The details of the case have now been revealed in a summary judgement application by Interserve.

The contractor’s application called for the court to strike out Swansea City’s Original Construction claim on the basis it was lodged after the 12-year time limit for such claims.

This was backed by a letter from Gardiner & Theobald to Interserve in April 2005 confirming practical completion on 31 March 2005.

At a hearing in June this year, Justice Farrell ruled in favour of Interserve’s call to strike out Swansea City’s Original Construction claim.

Swansea City will now continue with its Clause 16 claim against the contractor, as well as other claims against the council, with a court date set for 29 October.

A statement from Interserve said: “The claim that is left is in respect of Clause 16 in the contract, which is essentially defects that were identified in the defect liability period, one year after practical completion, with a question as to whether these defects were made good or not.

“The case will be heard in court in October.”

A Swansea Council spokesman said: “Swansea Stadium Management Company […] has commenced proceedings in the High Court against the council and Interserve Construction Ltd for alleged defects to the paintwork protection system on the structural steelwork of the stadium and alleged defects to the concourse flooring.

“The council has clearly stated that we are not responsible for the alleged defects and we will robustly defend our position in order to protect Swansea taxpayers’ money.

“The recent judgement relates to a successful application by Interserve Construction Limited to strike out part of the claim against them.

“The council has made a similar application to strike out part of the claim against it, which was partially successful.

“The remainder of the issues in dispute will be considered by the High Court at a trial due to take place in October/November.

“We are unable to comment in detail on the nature of the claim and the issues in dispute as these are the subject of the ongoing litigation.”

CN has contacted Swansea City FC for comment.

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