Poisoned land appeal thrown out

Couple who took legal action stayed in Empire Way
Couple who took legal action stayed in Empire Way

Motherwell residents who claim they became ill through living on contaminated land look to have lost a fight for compensation.

Robert and Angela McManus sued Scott Wilson Scotland Limited and Lanarkshire Housing Association, claiming harmful chemicals were allowed to remain on the former factory site in Watling Street when their homes were built.

Their legal action was dismissed at the Court of Session in 2015 and now three judges have thrown out the couple’s appeal against that decision.

Had Mr and Mrs McManus been successful it’s likely that many other residents in the area would also have been in line for a payout.

Five years ago an English firm of solicitors announced it was acting on behalf of 78 residents in 42 households.

Mr and Mrs McManus lived in Tiber Avenue before moving to nearby Empire Way.

The homes were built in the 1990s after the Metropolitan Vickers/Satchwell Sunvic factory closed and was demolished.

Mr and Mrs McManus had also failed in legal action against City Link Development Company Limited, which built the houses, but did not appeal against that decision.

It was claimed that Scott Wilson Scotland advised City Link on the project and knew that areas of contaminated soil would be moved around the site but not removed.

The couple said that while work to treat the ground had been carried out, building was completed before the results of ground sample tests were known. It was clear that further investigation was needed and that was not done.

However, the appeal judges said even if Scott Wilson knew there was still contamination that was not a “sufficient foundation” for the case to succeed.

The judges also agreed with the earlier ruling that the action against the housing association must fail through insufficient evidence.