UK man wins 16-year legal battle over laptop

Mar 26, 2014

It started with an unwanted laptop, and it ended in Britain's Supreme Court.

A Scottish man on Wednesday won a 16-year court battle sparked by a wrangle over a loan he'd taken out to buy a computer.

Oil worker Richard Durkin bought a laptop from a store in the Scottish city of Aberdeen in 1998, using a credit agreement with lender HFC Bank for about 1,500 pounds. He returned the computer the next day because it lacked an internal modem, and tried to cancel the credit deal.

The bank said he couldn't, and after he refused pay to pay, declared he had defaulted. Durkin said the bad credit rating meant he was unable to buy a house.

Durkin took legal action, and in 2008—a decade after the purchase—a court awarded him more than 100,000 pounds. That decision was overturned by appeals judges, and case eventually wound its way to the Supreme Court.

The saga ended Wednesday when five Supreme Court justices ruled that Durkin had "validly rescinded the credit agreement" and awarded him 8,000 pounds ($13,000) in damages, a fraction of his initial award.

Durkin said he had mixed feelings about the judgment.

"I'm glad that I've helped the greater good with a consumer victory," he said.

But, he added, the long legal campaign meant "I've got myself into a lot of debt, basically." Durkin estimated he'd spent 250,000 pounds ($414,000) on the case.

Explore further: Samsung removes logo on smartphones in Japan

Related Stories

Supreme Court rejects plea to look at NSA program

Nov 18, 2013

The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency, rejecting a call from a privacy group to stop NSA from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers ...

Recommended for you

Taiwan factory workers win $18 mn over cancer deaths

Apr 17, 2015

Workers from a factory in Taiwan which leeched toxic chemicals they say resulted in 200 deaths from cancer and more than 1,000 other cases of the disease won a Tw$564.45 million ($18 million) payout from US electronics company ...

Court monitor: Apple antitrust cooperation has 'declined'

Apr 17, 2015

Apple Inc.'s cooperation with efforts to improve its compliance with antitrust laws after a federal judge concluded it colluded with electronic book publishers to raise prices five years ago took on an "adversarial tone" ...

SEC questions LA Unified on use of bonds for iPad project

Apr 17, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently questioned Los Angeles Unified School District officials as part of informal inquiry into whether they properly used bond funds for a beleaguered $1.3 billion project to provide ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.