This decision is a timely reminder as to recovery of the cost of the time spent in dealing with remedial works required as a result of the construction of a defective building. Such costs are recoverable but it is vital to a successful claim that accurate records of time spent are kept. Aerospace’s property was damaged by flooding caused by Thames’ negligence. A number of Aerospace’s staff had to be diverted from their usual duties to remedy the damage. Aerospace sought to recover this cost from Thames.

Thames argued that Aerospace had suffered no loss because Aerospace’s staff were paid the same amount regardless of the duties that they carried out. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument. It held that Aerospace had produced sufficient evidence to prove that the staff had been diverted from their day-to-day activities and that, had flooding not occurred, those staff would have been employed carrying out revenue-generating activities. Aerospace was therefore entitled to recover the wages paid to the employees for dealing with the damage.

Aerospace Publishing Ltd and another v Thames Water Utilities (2007) EWCA Civ. 3