Most of our insurance cases are resolved before hearings on terms that are generally confidential. Over the years, we have handled many successful subrogated recovery actions and defences for our insurance clients.
In 2007 a large distribution warehouse burnt to the ground. About one year later our client, Central Forklift Group Ltd, received a demand holding them liable for causing the fire.
It was alleged that the fire had been caused by a connection between a charger and a forklift supplied by Central Forklift. Central Forklift had sold, leased and serviced various items of forklift and charger machinery at the warehouse.
Our client denied any responsibility. The connection in question had operated without any issues for over three years before the fire.
We were appointed by Central Forklift's insurers to handle the defence of this $10 million claim. This was a highly technical claim involving large amounts of expert evidence by cause and origin specialists, technical engineers, metallurgists, alarm experts and various others.
The hearing in the High Court occupied an initial six weeks in 2012 plus two weeks in 2013.
The case settled on terms which are confidential. However, we are able to disclose the fact that settlement was reached with the second plaintiff, the property owner, on the basis that liability is denied and the second plaintiff did not proceed further against the defendant accordingly.
We can disclose that a settlement was reached with the first plaintiff, the tenant, and that proceedings against Central Forklift were discontinued upon payment of costs of Central Forklift and denial of liability.
Des Walsh, Managing Director of Central Forklift Group:
"Great people to deal with who gave us up to date and accurate information the whole way through. Having never gone through a legal case like this before, they made the process very clear and honest and up to date feedback on where we stood with a great result ... advice all the way through was on the money."
Ross Oliver, Senior Electrical Engineer at SKM, who assisted as an expert for Central Forklift Group comments:
"I have found that working with the senior legal staff at Parker & Associates has resulted in a productive investigation and effective case preparation. Parker & Associates staff have been willing to listen to me and to understand technical issues that are sometimes very complex. They are able to distill the essential legal arguments that follow on from the situations they find their client in.
As a technical expert, I have been particularly impressed by Dan's strategies, and those of his staff, as they are in line with my own professional ethics, which is to assist clients understand the physical evidence and the risk, when determining cause."
Tenants of a Council owned flat, after their power was cut off, purchased tea-light candles to light their rooms. Some tea-light candles were left on a television, which caused a fire that burned down the flat.
We acted for the insurers of the City Council. Following a three day hearing against the insured tenant, it was established that the fire was caused by the negligence of the tenant.