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Task details and instructions:
Based on the areas of law we have studied during the first half of the module this assignment requires you to provide advice on potential legal liabilities that might arise in relation to construction site activities. Only those areas of law that we have studied need to be referred to in your response. The facts of the scenario are as described below – where facts are not stated, you are also free to make reasonable assumptions in your response.
MajorForce Contractors Ltd has been appointed by a developer as the Main Contractor for works on a contract close to the City Centre of Manchester designated as an area for re-development under the Local Plan. The proposal for the site is the construction of a 15 storey apartment block valued in the region of £36 million. MajorForce Contractors have in turn appointed a design company, Newtown Design Co to design an element of the works relating to the underpinning of a gable wall to an adjacent property. In order to undertake the works, MajorForce Contractors Ltd has subsequently appointed a specialist sub-contractor, KwikBild Ltd to undertake the works based on the design provided by Newtown.
Commencement of the enabling works begins with excavations being carried out below foundation level to an adjacent grocery store. Whilst the owner of the grocery store was aware of the impending site works, he wasn’t aware of the close proximity of the works to his building and the impact this would have on his property. He immediately contacts the Project Manager for the site and raises his concerns over some apparent cracks that he says have appeared in his basement as a result of the works.
In the following week, a machine driver working for KwikBild Ltd finishes his shift on Friday evening and leaves the keys to his 360 degree excavator under the seat in the driver’s cabin. He’s done this ever since he inadvertently lost his keys several months previously for which he was severely admonished. Unfortunately during the night, the site is accessed by a gang of youths who have found a way through the site boundary fencing. The security guard employed by the contractor is checking on another site nearby. In his absence, the youths manage to start the machine which careers uncontrollably into an adjacent sub-station which supplies a metal units manufacturing company bordering the site. The impact of this is disastrous – the sub-station is set alight, one of the youths is seriously injured and the adjacent metal units manufacturing company is left without power and unable to operate for a period of time. The resultant disruption lasts for days and local residents, already none too happy to be living adjacent to a noisy construction site, are upset at the further disruption to their daily lives that the incident has caused.
In light of these events, as a legal consultant to the construction industry, you have been approached by MajorForce Contractors Ltd. to provide advice relating to the following;
Explain how matters relating to Party Wall issues might be dealt with and identify the extent of any legal liabilities faced by the parties involved in the sub-station incident. (100 marks)
In answering this part of the question you must
– Explain the legal framework relating to the Party Wall Act
– Demonstrate an understanding of the role of professional parties involved in dispute processes
– Identify and explain a range of relevant tortious issues
– Use relevant case law and statute to support your arguments
– Identify any mitigating circumstances and defences
The assignment should be written in the form of a legal brief which advises the client appropriately on the issues raised.
All the sources that you rely on for the statements made in your brief should be acknowledged. Statements of the law should be supported by references to legal cases and sections within statutes (rather than textbooks or articles). References to pages within textbooks and articles may be used to support the opinions of authors where you use these in support of your arguments.
Referencing should follow the University of Salford’s published guidance for the citation of legal sources. You must use Harvard APA for this assignment.
Word count/ duration (if applicable)
Your brief should be no longer than 2,500 words in length (+/- 10%).
The reference list is excluded from the word count. No Appendices should be included. No footnotes should be used.