ICL Loses Compensation Bid

ICL Plastics Ltd has lost a legal bid to hold Johnston Oils liable for compensation for an explosion at ICL Plastics’ Stockline Factory in Glasgow that killed nine people in 2004.

ICL Plastics said Johnston Oils had a duty to maintain the lp gas pipes that leaked and caused the explosion at the factory, and wanted Johnston Oils to contribute to payments to those injured in the blast, but judge Lord Hodge disagreed.

He wrote: “The pursuers took no steps to monitor, inspect and maintain the underground pipeline after they received a clear warning from the Health & Safety Executive in 1989. It was not the practice of suppliers to give their commercial customers advice on the maintenance of the pipework and gas supply system which the customers owned.

“The central issue in this case is whether the common law duty of care of such suppliers, and in particular Johnston Oils, for the safety of people in the vicinity of the gas supply system imposed on the suppliers duties to inquire about the condition of the customer’s pipework and to give unsolicited advice to the customer to investigate and maintain it.

“I conclude Johnston Oils did not owe the duties of care to the injured parties on which the pursuers have built their case.”

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