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Man takes 16-year legal battle over laptop to Supreme Court

A 44-year-old father of two will this month take his case over a laptop to the highest court in the land, hoping to put an end to a 16-year legal battle against PC World, reports the Daily Mail.

Richard Durkin perhaps had no idea the trouble he was letting himself in for when he visited the Aberdeen branch of PC World back in 1998, age 28, hoping to buy a brand new laptop with a built-in modem.

He claims the PC World sales assistant took note of his wishes and presented him with a laptop that would meet his needs. Mr Durkin paid a £50 deposit, and agreed a finance deal to cover the rest of the £1,449 for the PC, on the proviso that if the laptop did not meet his requirements he could return it for no charge.

When Mr Durkin got the laptop home, he realised it did not have an in-built modem, and the next morning he took it back to claim back his deposit and to cancel the finance deal.

However, the manager at PC World refused to return his deposit, told him he could not now return the laptop, and claimed he was stuck with the finance deal to pay for it.

Fast-forward 16 years and Mr Durkin is now 44, with two children. He has taken his case against PC World through the Scottish Courts, winning £116,000 in damages in 2008, only to have the decision reversed in 2010 by the Edinburgh Court of Session.

In the meantime he estimates he has paid around £250,000 in lawyers' fees to fund his legal battle. The finance company placed a credit black mark on his record, which has prevented him buying a bigger house and a holiday home in Spain.

This month, with the help of a legal charity, he will take his case to the UK Supreme Court hoping for a ruling that will put an end to the case and hopefully help him stave off an impending bankruptcy.

"What makes me sick is that they've had millions of opportunities to do the right thing, and every time they have refused," he told the Daily Mail.

"It's no longer about the money for me; it's the principle. Why should these companies and banks be allowed to get away with treating consumers like this?" he added.