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CHUBB FIRE LTD v (1) VICAR OF SPALDING (2) CHURCHWARDENS & CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH OF ST MARY & ST NICHOLAS, SPALDING

The supplier of fire extinguishers was not liable for failing to advise one of its customers that the extinguisher it provided, if discharged, was likely to cause a mess although the extinguisher was later used for vandalism as, even if that advice had been provided, the extinguisher would ultimately have been installed in any event.

6 September 2010

The appellant (C), a supplier of fire extinguishers, appealed against a decision that upon providing the respondents (X) with an extinguisher, it had negligently failed to warn them that any discharge of the extinguisher was likely to cause a mess. C had provided X with fire extinguishers for a church. Approximately seven years later, three boys entered the church, which was kept unlocked and unattended, found an extinguisher in an adjoining room and took it into the main body of the church where they discharged it. The extinguisher was a type which contained dry powder and when it was discharged it caused extensive mess. The church's insurers paid the expensive cleaning costs and sought to recover them by commencing proceedings against C in X's name. The judge found that C was under a duty to give X balanced advice as to the advantages and disadvantages of installing the dry powder type of extinguisher in the church; C had not warned X that if it were to be discharged there was a l...

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