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Northern Ireland's Housing Executive loses asbestos legal fight

Northern Ireland's Housing Executive has lost its legal battle against a company it hired to carry out asbestos tests in thousands of its properties.

Healthy Buildings (Ireland) Ltd won a £1m tender in 2012 to check for the presence of asbestos in properties in north east Belfast.

Under Health and Safety Guidance the firm planned to use a method of testing which presumed the presence of asbestos.

But it launched legal action after being told in 2013 the type of survey required would involve sampling every room in houses.

Healthy Buildings argued that the Housing Executive had changed the scope of the contract and it would lead to a major increase in its workload and costs.

With the adjudicator and a High Court judge having both ruled for Healthy Buildings, the Housing Executive took its case to the Court of Appeal.

But in a judgment yesterday, Lord Justice Girvan dismissed the appeal case.

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