Contractor told to pay £11m in cladding case

Construction firm Mulalley must pay £10.8m in damages and costs to a housing association over defective cladding.

Martlet Homes, a subsidiary of Hyde Housing Group, won a case in July regarding five tower blocks in Gosport, Hampshire.

At the time, Judge Stephen Davies awarded £8m to Martlet, ruling that Mulalley exhibited the “endemic complacency” seen in the sector over cladding fitted prior to the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

The award was for the cost of investigating and replacing defective external wall insulation, which was fitted between 2005 and 2008, and a waking-watch fire-safety service it provided.

Now, according to a statement from Hyde, Mulalley has been ordered to pay a total sum of £10.8m to the housing group in costs and damages. This followed an assessment of the entire site by quantity surveyors.

In the case, Mulalley admitted to some defects in the cladding installation, but denied they justified their complete replacement or the need for the waking watch.

Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, which represented Martlet Homes, said in July that the case was the first High Court settlement on a claim concerning fire-safety defects on a high-rise building since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Hyde Group chief executive Andy Hulme said it was a “victory for all homeowners and justice for all those caught up in the cladding scandal” following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

“It sends a strong message to any others whose work is defective that they cannot hide and must come forward to ensure homes are safe for people across the UK,” he added.

Mulalley declined to comment.

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