Engineering consultant Mott MacDonald is suing Morrison for more than £2.1m, alleging it failed to make payments for work carried out on a project at the former Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
In a claim filed by Fishburn Solicitors at the High Court on 4 February, Mott MacDonald says Morrison failed to pay nine invoices, totalling £1,187,588 including VAT, for the provision of “additional services” on the project between 1998 and 2002.
Mott says that under the terms of its contract, Morrison was obliged to make payment within 28 days of receipt of invoice, and that it failed to do so.
Mott is suing the Anglian Water-owned firm for the amount owed, nearly £955,000 in interest, and continued interest payments of £382 per day until the judgment or sooner payment.
It also alleges that, in a further breach of contract, Morrison failed to supply Mott with relevant information and assistance in time not to delay or disrupt work on the project.
The claim form states that Morrison Property Solutions (Birmingham Children’s Hospital) - a company owned by Morrison Developments - appointed Mott as structural engineer for the development.
Mott says the appointment stated: “We may require you to perform any services in addition to those set out or referred to in this appointment which may be reasonable and such additional services will be paid for at a rate to be agreed between us.”
The project - which involved the demolition and redevelopment of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital into a mixed-use retail, leisure and residential complex - has been bedevilled by legal disputes.
Mott itself faced a £10m negligence claim in 2008 when Galliford Try and Morrison alleged they had found “serious defects” in Mott’s advice to the client about bracing a pile wall and supporting an existing facade, and as a result they had suffered delays and losses.
The High Court rejected the claim, as there was never a contract between Galliford and Mott, and the latter’s designs included the disclaimers asserting that no liabilities were accepted to any person other than the client.