Company files High Court writ for breach of contract

AXA could be forced to pay damages of more than £700,000 after refusing to settle a public liability claim over a flooded restaurant and bar.

The Endless Pleasure Company claims its Bristol venue, Bar Pam Pam, was damaged by a burst water pipe from the floor above its premises.

Anchor Project Mangement (APM), a shop-fitting business insured by AXA, was carrying out refurbishment works on the floor when the pipe ruptured.

APM has now gone into liquidation but, in a High Court writ, Endless Pleasure claims AXA is “obliged to indemnify the claimant” and is suing for breach of contract.

An unknown insurer, acting on behalf of Endless Pleasure, is also believed to be involved in a related claim.

The flooding in August 2004 ruined electrical equipment and furnishings. The bar was unable to trade for more than three months.

In December 2006 Endless Pleasure began proceedings against APM. The damages and costs, totalling £650,000, were assessed almost a year later. APM failed to pay and the company was wound up in July last year.

However, under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1920, the rights of APM’s policy with AXA were transferred to Endless Pleasure, the writ says. This allows Endless to claim against AXA under APM’s policy for liability.

The total judgment sum is £636,387.01, with interest of £57,465.75, £14,000 costs and a further 8% interest.

AXA, which is expected to submit its defence to the High Court this week, said in a statement: “As this case is now in the hands of our lawyers, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

The Endless Pleasure Company could not be reached for comment.