13/11/2020 - 15:01

CPB fails in $8m claim

13/11/2020 - 15:01

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an $8.4 million damages claim by CPB Contractors against one of the suppliers on a Mid West wind farm project.

CPB had claimed damages for breach of contract on Synergy's Mumbida wind farm. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The Supreme Court has dismissed an $8.4 million damages claim by CPB Contractors against one of the suppliers on a Mid West wind farm project.

CPB had claimed damages for breach of contract on Synergy's Mumbida wind farm, which was built in 2012.

It claimed that Holcim (Australia) failed to supply concrete that met the specified N32 grade.

CPB said that, consequently, it was forced to undertake rectification works and accelerate the works in an attempt to meet the scheduled date for practical completion.

CPB submitted a claim in February 2013 for $8.4 million, which it said represented the extra costs incurred.

Holcim did not pay the amount claimed.

CPB, which was represented by Clyde & Co, commenced its legal claim in February 2019 and 12 months later Holcim applied for the claim to be struck out.

Holcim, represented by Hotchkin Hanley, argued CPB’s claim should be dismissed because more than six years had elapsed since the original cause of action.

CPB countered that the cause of action did not accrue until February 2013, when it had completed a valuation and its claim was submitted.

Justice Jeremy Allanson found in favour of Holcim.

“The purchase orders contain no express term making CPB's entitlement to recover cost, loss or damage for default conditional on a 'valuation' first being made,” he found.

Justice Allanson said the questions raised on the application for summary judgment were limited and turned on construction of the terms of the purchase orders. 

“I am satisfied that the case is clear and certain,” he said.

“Assuming all facts in favour of CPB, the breaches of warranty occurred in 2012. 

Holcim has a good defence to that claim based on CPB's failure to bring proceedings within six years, as required by section 13 of the Limitation Act.”

Justice Allanson also threw out CPB’s claim that Holcim committed a further breach by failing to pay on the claim made in February 2013, finding there was no arguable case.

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