A man who won nearly £1,000 in damages after a six-year legal battle with a car dealership that damaged his Porsche was landed with a £90,000 bill he had to foot. The ninety grand covered the legal costs for both parties, including the garage’s lawyers’ costs, because he had turned down a £2,500 out-of-court settlement. Damian Markland, 34, from Preston in Lancashire, is also liable for the costs of repairs to his Porsche as well as storage. He worries he may now lose his house as well as having to sell his model shop and Porsche (which is now in good condition) to cover the fees. He said: “I feel like I’ve been screwed over twice – once by Porsche and then by the lawyers and the British legal system. It seems the only people who win in these things are the lawyers.
“I might have won around £1,000 but in my eyes I haven’t won at all. There were four parts to my claim and I lost the biggest one which was all the main money from the engine and around £40,000. I fought this thing for six years and following this I have lost faith in the justice system.”
On Mr Markland’s attempt to appeal the decision at the Civil Appeal Court, Lord Justice Longmore said that although he sympathised with Mr Markland’s position and said he had got “his fingers burnt very badly”, he did not grant him the right to appeal.
Mr Markland bought the Porsche 911 GT3 MK1 in2007 for £48,000 when iit had 25,000 miles on the clock. Not long after, the fully serviced Porsche started experiencing problems, so he took it to the Pendragon Sabre Ltd Porsche Centre in Bolton. During its service, a number of errors were made when rebuilding it, such as tyres being put on the wrong way round, the throttle cable not being connected to the engine properly, causing the car to suffer “catastrophic failure”.
As he believed that an engine rebuild would be covered by all warranty agreements, Mr Markland paid £25,000 for one, only to end up suing for £40,000 when he found out it wouldn’t be.
A judge ruled at Lancashire Crown Court in November 2012 that Pendragon had breached its contract and awarded Mr Markland damages of nearly £100,000, where he also explained that he would be liable for the Porsche garage’s costs.