Commercial property owners and tenants are being urged to check their insurance obligations following a Court of Appeal ruling which refused a compensation payout when fire had spread to neighbouring premises.
Last month the Court of Appeal ruled in the case of Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore that a tyre supply company was not liable to the owner of the adjoining premises when a fire broke out and destroyed both units.
The tyre supply company stored about 3,000 tyres on its premises and when an electrical fault started a fire, the tyres were soon blazing and it was impossible to put the fire out, soon spreading to the adjacent unit.
It is a basic legal principle that a person cannot be liable for damage caused to another unless they intended to cause the damage or have been negligent. In this case, there was no suggestion of negligence on the part of the tyre company, but when the case was first heard in the county court, the tyre company was found liable under a long-standing rule known as Rylands v Fletcher.
Download the full article here: Tyre fire courts controversy on who pays the bill