Commodity Solution Services Ltd and another v First Scottish Searching Services Ltd

Negligence – Duty of care – Pure economic loss – Search of public register. Sheriff Appeal Court: In an appeal in an action by the holders of an inhibition over property, which was properly registered in the Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications, against searchers instructed to carry out a search on behalf the sellers prior to the purchase of the property, the defenders searches not having disclosed the inhibition, which was not discharged before the sale, and the purchasers' title having been registered in the Land Register without qualification, the court held that the sheriff reached the correct decision on the principal issue, ie that a firm of professional searchers, instructed by the seller of heritable subjects to carry out a search in the Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications, owed a duty of care to a creditor who had registered an inhibition in that register; however, the sheriff went too far in fixing a proof and in repelling the pleas that he did; the remaining questions of law as regards good faith and loss were best resolved after a proof before answer.

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