A couple who made a £6.8million legal claim over the dumping of waste material have instead been awarded less than £20,000 damages at the Court of Session.
Levy & McRae acted on behalf of the defenders, Advance Contruction Ltd. A 12-day hearing before Lord Woolman heard how directors of Advance Construction (Scotland) Ltd (ACS) were duped into believing they had permission to dump approximately 6,000 tons of material following the demolition of Coltness Primary School, in North Lanarkshire, on nearby land.
Today, Lord Woolman ruled that despite repeated offers by ACS to remove the material free of charge and offers of compensation, racehorse trainer Donal Nolan and partner Melanie Collins, refused to engage with ACS in a constructive manner.
The judge said: “It is difficult to see what more ACS could have done. By failing to accept the offer made by ACS, Nolan is the author of his own misfortune.”
Nolan and Collins had originally claimed that they had planned to build luxury houses on the land which they valued at £6.8million. During the process ACS made various offers to remove the material free of charge,
Lord Woolman was scathing in his opinion of the couple’s evidence. He said of Nolan:
· He sought sums in excess of £6million but professed to know virtually nothing about the circumstances
· His evidence was of little value and wholly unreliable
Describing evidence offered by Collins, Lord Woolman said:
· She was inclined to be evasive on difficult questions
· Dismissive of expert evidence
· Her perspective was distorted and she was not a reliable witness
The court was also told Miss Collins enlisted the aid of Alex Neil, MSP for Airdrie and Shotts, and Minister of Health, to become involved. He became involved in several meetings and email correspondence.
The Judge concluded that Miss Collins and Mr Nolan did not take all reasonable steps in this case. He held that the offers made by Advance were “plainly reasonable” and that “it is difficult to see what more Advance could have done.”
Seamus Shields, founder and Managing Director of ACS said: “This has been a costly and frustrating business episode, but despite this we have kept our eye on the ball and continued to grow the business.
“I would like to thank North Lanarkshire Council for their professionalism in defending false allegations made against the company.
“Finally I would like to thank our legal team of Levy McRae and counsel Roddy Dunlop Q.C. for their sterling efforts and encouragement throughout this very trying period.”