Tayside Contracts is set to sue a local quarry for 800,000.
A court judge has given the green light for the Tayside public works collective to pursue damages against the Arbroath-based D. Geddes Ltd, after ruling against a plea to toss out the case on a technicality.
The case arose after Tayside Contracts which is the business union between Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross councils ordered more than 800,000 worth of crushed stone from D Geddes Ltd to repair area roads.
However, according to officials, the stone provided turned out to be not fit for the purpose of road maintenance and was not what had been ordered.
Tayside Contracts resupplied and moved to take action against the Arbroath suppliers for breaking its contract.
However, the defence solicitor for D. Geddes Ltd demanded the courts dismiss the case because the three councils should have three separate legal personalities representing them.
Lord Malcolm, of Edinburgh’s Court of Session, though, decided the technicality made for insufficient grounds to drop the case. And while he added that neither Angus, Dundee City nor Perth & Kinross councils would be allowed to divvy up the potential 800,000 in reparations, he said that Tayside Contracts could lawfully sue for damages under its umbrella name.
“Tayside Contracts had statutory power to enter into the contract with the defenders.
“Thus if a joint committee enters into a contract with a third party, and wishes to recover damages from it, the constituent councils in the name of that joint committee should be entitled to seek recovery of that sum from that party.
“I see no difficulty with the three councils, on that basis, seeking payment of a single sum by way of damages.”
Lord Malcolm also said it was still unclear how procedures would go if a company attempted to chase a similar action against Tayside Contracts, arguing joint ventures between councils still occupies a legal grey area.
But with the quarry’s plea having been rejected by Lord Malcolm, the case will now be passed on to another committee in order to decide how it will progress.
D. Geddes Ltd was asked to comment but has yet to do so.