Hospital claims contractor failed to repair defects

One of London’s largest hospitals has begun legal action against Costain over an alleged defect that impacted on backup power to its medical areas.

King’s College Hospital’s PFI consortium claims in court papers seen by Building that Costain breached its building contract by failing to repair defects in the backup power system.

HpC Kings College Hospital Ltd alleges the problem came to light after a series of power outages since April 2009 where the backup system failed to work properly. It is claiming damages of over £200,000, plus costs.

Costain has denied the allegations and has a third party claim against the M&E subcontractor on the job, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, which it claims carried out the work.

According to the court papers Kings College claims: “Costain is under an obligation to ensure that mains power to medical areas starts to re-energise following a mains outage within 15 seconds, plus one to six seconds sending time.”

The hospital added it had had to introduce a regime where an electrician was available at all times to manually restore mains power if it failed.

Costain declined to comment and Balfour Beatty was unavailable.