The High Court has rejected a builder’s application to dismiss a home defect case filed against him by a family who had to move out of their home due to health concerns.
Mr Justice Eagar stated that the builder had contributed to a delay in the proceedings, and the financial toll of their consequent move from the home had made it difficult for the family to attend the proceedings.
Mr and Mrs Joseph Arthur issued a summons against Mr Joseph Gorman in January 2012, demanding compensation for damages, loss, and expenses caused by negligence, breach of duty and / or breach of contract.
The action was triggered by alleged defects in home that Mr Gorman had designed for them. Although Mr Gorman filed an appearance the following March, he did not immediately deliver a defence.
The Arthurs claimed that they had hired Mr Gorman in early 1999 to direct the building of their home. Construction was completed in December of that year, but after moving in, they noticed a dampness that eventually became a health issue and forced them to move out in September 2009. They commissioned reports that revealed a problem with the property’s foundations.
In the High Court, Mr Gorman applied for an order dismissing the claim for want of prosecution and inordinate and inexcusable delay on behalf of the Arthurs. The original statement of claim was delivered in July 2012 but the family took no further action, and two years later Mr Gorman tried to have the home defect case dismissed due to lack of reasonable cause of action and its basically frivolous nature.