Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Sub-contractor awarded over BND500,000 in claims of unpaid sums

Fadley Faisal

The High Court last month awarded a plaintiff company their claims of unpaid sums for works as a sub-contractor in the amount of over BND500,000.

Plaintiff ATH Niagabena Sdn Bhd was represented by Pengiran Izad Ryan bin Pengiran Laila Kanun Diraja Pengiran Haji Bahrin and Jordan Tiah Teck Chiun of Messrs Pengiran Izad and Lee.

Defendant Freelander Tech Sdn Bhd was represented by Mohd Nursuhaimy Haji Kasmany of Messrs Fathan and Co.

Judicial Commissioner Edward Timothy Starbuck Woolley handed his judgement of the civil suit on March 26.

The court judgement stated that on July 19, 2018, the defendant company entered into an agreement with a company for the “requalification”, or re-conditioning of 60,000 LPG cylinders to be completed by December 31, 2018 for a payment of BND27 per cylinder,
totalling BND1,620,000.

The same day, the defendant entered into a sub-contract with the plaintiff company agreeing on a back-to back basis to complete all the works and accepted the contractual obligations of the main contract.

The sub-contract did not include the rate of payment or details as to provision of equipment to carry out the works, except for the defendant to provide the land facilities for premises where the works could be carried out.

On July 20, 2018, the plaintiff issued a quotation to the defendant offering to do the work at a price BND25 per cylinder, totalling BND1,500,000.

The sub-contract agreement mirrored the main contract in terms of details of works to be done.

On August 8, 2018, the defendant issued a purchase order to the plaintiff listing equipment they intended to purchase and import for the purposes of the contract costing BND470,668.

However, it did not include a set of de-rusting machine, a generator and a forklift.

It was signed and marked as ‘verified’ by the defendant.

As building a premise for the works to be carried out could not be made on time, the plaintiff agreed to rent the premises instead.

The plaintiff rented premises in Kampong Lugu, Sengkurong and commenced work in October 2018.

Towards the end of the year, it was realised that the works could not be completed and the parties agreed for an extension to March 31, 2019.

Among other claims, the court noted the remaining defence put forward for the non-payment of the balance of BND568,500, the warehouse issue and alleged missing items of equipment.

The court conceded that the equipment should be returned to the defendant.

However, the plaintiff fought for their entitlement to retain them pending payment of the balance of the contract sum by the defendant.

More details were fought over the conditions of the equipment, but it was not conceded by the court as parties were aware of possible conditions of the equipment upon return after being used in works.

Rental for storage of the equipment was also claimed by the plaintiff.

The High Court concluded with an order to award the plaintiff BND568,500 with interest of 2.5 per cent per annum from April 2, 2019 up until payment, and storage charges of BND1,800 per month from May 2019 with interest of 2.5 per cent per annum from since then.

The court also ordered for the plaintiff to make the equipment in storage available to the defendant for collection upon payment of the judgement sums.

Costs of the judgement was also ordered in favour of the plaintiff.