DIY chain B&Q is seeking £7.2 million in damages from Clugston Construction in a long-running battle over a faulty floor, according to papers filed at the High Court.
The claim relates to work carried out on the retailer’s national distribution centre in Doncaster, which Clugston was contracted to design and build in 2003.
B&Q claims the 70,000 sq m pour steel fibre reinforced concrete floor installed by Clugston’s subcontractor Twintec developed “severe cracking and deterioration at joints” in the months after B&Q occupied the site in early 2004.
Between August and December 2005, Clugston and Twintec organised and paid for remedial works to the floor, according to the claim form. However B&Q claims the majority of these repairs failed, “typically within about one month of being completed”.
It also says that further works by another subcontractor employed by Clugston failed to solve all the problems.
More repairs and failures led to Clugston and Twintec becoming “reluctant to attend to the ongoing and continuing cracking and joint failures”, according to the papers filed by B&Q.
The retailer claims that in July 2008, it learnt the subcontractor tasked with carrying out repairs on behalf of Clugston, Corze, was refusing to attend the site because Clugston would not pay it.
From then onwards, Clugston, Twintec and their subcontractors attended the site only to carry out emergency repairs, B&Q alleges.
It says that in May 2009 a survey revealed that about 1,700 m of cracking required repair.
Clugston and Twintec agreed to repair 200 linear metres of the worst cracks. However, “no firm commitment was forthcoming” according to B&Q.
It also alleges design and construction failures “such that there was a real risk of the floor failing under the design loads”.
B&Q eventually employed another contractor to rectify the alleged defects and is claiming for losses including the cost of remedial works and the consequences.
A Clugston spokesman said: “We are working with lawyers appointed to defend the case.”
No date has yet been set for a hearing.