Lendlease £140m hospital claim to hit High Court

Aaron Morby 1 month ago

A long-running £140m legal battle between Lendlease and an NHS Trust over the Cramlington East hospital in Northumberland is heading to the High Court this autumn.

NHS Trust claims there are design and construction defects throughout the hospital
NHS Trust claims there are design and construction defects throughout the hospital

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust claims substantial design and construction defects throughout the emergency care hospital which will necessitate the closure of the hospital to carry out remediation works.

Half the sum claimed is necessary to cover the cost of erecting a temporary four-storey building to decant hospital staff and patients into during the proposed remedial works, so that the hospital can  maintain critical care conditions for patients.

The claim against Lendlease is contested by the contractor but has also triggered a cascade of disputes between Lendlease and several of its key package contractors.

These involve M&E specialist Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, civils firm MPB Structures, architect Keppie design, roofing specialist Briggs Amasco, manufacturer IKO UK, drylining and external wall render specialist Horbury Building Systems, and fire door specialist Horbury Joinery.

Opened in 2015, the Cramlington hospital cost £75m to build with a further £20m spent on road access and new medical equipment.

But due to alleged defects, the Trust issued legal proceedings at the end of 2019 against Lendlease.

The case is complex, raising allegations that cover a number of expert disciplines, giving rise to volumes of documents, including over 120 separate annexes to the main statements of case and responses to request for further information.

Many of the separate claims against subcontractors have been settled or are agreed in principle.

Main outstanding claims in issue are: fire protection defects (remedial costs of £1.5m), external walls, (£11m) and (internal partitions and door frames (£11m).

Following a pre-trial hearing last week covering several proposed amendments and clarifications tabled by various defendants, the High Court yesterday allowed more time and moved the trial date back three weeks to 24 October.

A spokesperson for Lendlease said: “We’ve remained on site and continued to work with Northumbria NHS Trust since worked completed in 2015 in order to address any defects that have emerged, during which time the hospital has remained open and fully operational.

“As this matter is currently subject to legal proceedings it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”


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