I would like some advice. I had my sand school put in about 6 years ago by a local firm after doing a large amount of research. I was advised at the time to go with a limestone binding layer instead of a second membrane as although more expensive it will last much longer. Subsequent to this I have had a problem with the stone coming up into the surface. After contacting several companies I have realised I was poorly advised as you should never not put in a second membrane as stone will always move to the top. I had the original firm out but he was not really interested and to fix it would probably cost me £xxx [a great deal of money].
Is there anything I can do about this I feel really disappointed as it was a lot of money and I obviously went on the advice of the expert and at the time I knew no better.
Answer from Alison:
The most important issue to consider firstly is that if you want to take any legal action in this case you would need to act quickly. There are limitations of time on bringing legal claims and because the school was put down 6 years ago I would advise acting quickly if you wanted to pursue a claim in this matter. If you do not act within certain time limits your claim can be statute barred regardless of the strength of your claim.
The legal basis of your claim in this matter would be a breach of contract/negligence claim against the company that provided and fitted the school for you. In order to be successful in such a claim you would need to show that they have not carried out the work with reasonable skill and care or to a satisfactory standard. An expert report would be required to provide a report on the issues with the school, the causes of the issues and the costs of rectification. I would advise that you obtain a report from an independent expert in equine areanas to confirm the issues with the school, the cause of the issues, what affect those issues have on the use and durability of the school and the costs of rectification of the issues. It will be of particular importance in your case to ensure that the expert considers the issues with the school that are due to the design and materials used in the school rather than issues that could have arisen during use over time because the school has been down for so long the company that fitted it are likely to argue that these issues have arisen due to normal wear and tear or misuse/maintenance rather than because of any issue with the materials or design in the first place. Once you have this experts report you will have the basis of your claim and a rough ides of the value of your claim. You can then ask the company to settle your claim or commence court proceedings. Due to the issue of time that has elapsed in this case it may be prudent to consider instructing a solicitor immediately with a view to agreeing a standstill agreement with the company with regards to the time to commencing a legal claim or alternatively issue a claim in the court to protect your claim from being time barred and then proceed to put together your case in more detail. This is obviously just a brief summary of some of the more important issues. I can discuss each of the issues in more detail with you if you wish.
I hope this helps – please call me to discuss any issues you have in more detail.
Senior Associate Solicitor
For and on behalf of Harrison Clark Rickerbys Limited
Tel: 01432 349 675 | Mob: 07966 613 829
Fax: 01432 349 660 | firstname.lastname@example.org