Libel trial looms for concrete producer

Libel trial looms for concrete producer

A civil trial is looming over allegations of defamatory remarks made by a trade organisation of concrete producers and other persons and companies concerning a concrete batching plant in Yuen Long.

Excel Concrete is unhappy about remarks made over a concrete batching plant in Yuen Long    (Danny Chung)

Excel Concrete is unhappy about remarks made over a concrete batching plant in Yuen Long (Danny Chung)

The case concerns Excel Concrete Limited as the plaintiff while the defendants include The Concrete Producers Association of Hong Kong Limited, the Hong Kong Construction Materials Association Limited, four persons, Anderson Concrete Limited, K.Wah Concrete Company Limited and Hong Kong-China Concrete Company Limited.

In a decision issued just after Chinese New Year, Deputy High Court Judge David Lok rebuffed an attempt by one of the defendants, Lambert Leung Wing-wah who is chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Materials Association, to ask the court to strike out the claims made by Excel Concrete.

The allegations of libel centre on three letters issued in 2010 by the Hong Kong Materials Association, by The Concrete Producers Association of Hong Kong and by a solicitor’s firm acting for the CPA.

These letters were sent to the MTRC and Buildings Department.

According to the details referred to in the judge’s decision, the subject of the letters was about a concrete batching plant in a construction site in Yuen Long, the concrete it produced and planning permission.

In addition, the plaintiff made other complaints.

“…the plaintiff alleges in the Statement of Claim that there is a cartel in the industry of the supply of ready-mixed concrete in Hong Kong whose combined market share is about 80 percent.  The plaintiff is not a member of this cartel.  One of the purposes of this cartel is to maintain market entry barriers or to take actions against new market entrants,” the judge wrote in his decision.

A date for the court hearing is yet to be set

Danny Chung

 

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