After a fire in a factory, the factory owner sued the company that had supplied and installed a fire suppression system ten years earlier, alleging a defect in a pipework joint. The installer relied on its exclusion of liability for negligence but that exclusion clause applied to death and personal injury, as well as other loss and damage. The Unfair Contract Terms Act says that liability for death or personal injury cannot be excluded. So did that make the whole clause ineffective?
In Goodlife Foods Ltd v Hall Fire Protection Ltd the court reviewed the case law, in particular an unreported 1991 Court of Appeal case of Trolex Products Limited v Merrol Fire Protection Engineers Ltd. Trolex decided that, where a case seeks to exclude liability for death or personal injury and also liability for other kinds of loss or damage, the former can simply be excised and the remainder upheld as reasonable, if appropriate. Which is, consequently, what the court in Goodlife did.