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£3m settlement after school asbestos ‘catastrophy’

Northamptonshire County Council and Southfield School for Girls have won a £3.1m settlement after asbestos contaminated the girl’s school, forcing it to close and relocate pupils.

Work to upgrade the electrical system at the Kettering school began in July 2003 when Northampton-based defendant Briggs & Forrester Electrical sub-contracted the removal of asbestos ceiling tiles to second defendant B&W Asbestos Removal Specialists, of Bedford.

Asbestos dust was released during this work, contaminating the school and endangering workmen and cleaners. The school was unable to re-open following the summer holidays, remaining closed for six months.

In judgement, following the hearing at the Technology and Construction Court, in London Judge Frances Kirkham called the asbestos contamination “catastrophic event for the school”.

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