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Darlington BC v Wiltshier Northern Ltd

[1995] 1 WLR 68

Case summary last updated at 03/01/2020 17:04 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Darlington BC v Wiltshier Northern Ltd

X contracted D to build stuff for local council P. X assigned rights to P and P later sued D for damages for bad performance. CA held that (1) since the parties knew that the contract was for P’s benefit and (2) it was foreseeable that damage caused by a breach of the contracts would cause loss to the council, P could claim as though it was the employer and principal to the contract from the outset. In this case there could have been, but was no need for, an application of the Linden exception, there being  contractual clause that allowed assignment to the council. 
Lord Griffiths: having a proprietary interest in a project is NOT a requirement for claiming damages from its failure to be performed. E.g. if the wife owns the house and the husband contracts to have the roof repaired, he should not be barred from claiming damages on the grounds that it isn’t his house. He also said it is no objection to say that another party is paying the repairs so that P doesn’t suffer loss, since it is not for the guilty party to consider who will pay.

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