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Haden sued

Over unsafe window cleaning equipment

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association is headed for a High Court showdown with facilities management company Haden Building Management in a row over window cleaning equipment. Haden, part of Balfour Beatty Group, was responsible for maintaining the association’s four storey office block in Bevis Marks, London, including its window cleaning system. In 2000, the window cleaning system was branded unsafe by insurers, and the association told its staff and contractors to stop using it, according to a High Court writ.

Two years later, Haden installed a replacement system that was unfit and unsafe, and has not been used since 7 July 2003, the writ claims.

The Corporation of London issued a detention order on the equipment to stop it from being used, and environmental services took away the equipment in December 2003, the court will hear. It remains at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Sheffield.

The association claims it has received no consideration for its payment for the window cleaning equipment, has been deprived of its use, and has spent additional money on window cleaning.

Now it is seeking reimbursement of £14,112.93, damages, and a declaration that Haden is liable to indemnify it for the cost of replacing the whole system, and against professional fees against any claims brought against it, including any prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

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