This case involves the supply of PS122mn personal protective equipment during the Covid pandemic
PPE Medpro is a supplier of medical products and has set the stage for a high-profile case after it successfully defended in the High Court against a suit from the UK government over the alleged breach by contract to supply PS122mn personal protective equipment.
Last year, the UK government launched legal proceedings against PPE Medpro for an alleged breach in contract regarding gowns that were delivered under a contract dating June 26, 2020. Millions of surgical gowns were ultimately found unfit for purpose and not distributed to the frontline during Covid-19.
In December, the Department of Health and Social Care filed a lawsuit alleging that PPE Mepro supplied 72 lots of gowns with a CE marking. This mark verifies that a product was evaluated by an accredited body and is required for products that are sterile. The lawsuit claims that PPE Medpro didn’t include the number of the accredited body.
It stated that the gowns were not double-wrapped, which is in violation of the requirements.
PPE Medpro, which filed its defense and counterclaim at the High Court in London on Thursday, stated that the gowns it supplied were “in accordance with contract” and that they did not need to be double wrapped.
“The Contract was executed and performed by the defendant as required. “All allegations of breach are misconceived, and are in all events denied,” PPE Medpro’s defense filed at the High Court claims.
It stated that the gowns “complied in every respect with the Contract, specifically they had been sterilized and compliant.” “It is not true that the gowns were not sterilized when they were delivered.”
The UK government sued PPE Medpro, claiming that it provided a safety report from Intertek , an accredited company. This report was denied by the firm.
PPE Medpro counterclaimed that it had sent an incorrect draft document, but claimed that it sent an authentic certified Intertek report. It noted, however, that the government doesn’t claim in its claim that any documentation produced by the defendant or for it in relation to the contract is not authentic.
PPE Medpro also asserts in its defense papers that there was a “relaxation” of the CE certification/accreditation rules that would have ‘normally — absent the catastrophic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic
The government seeks repayment of PS122mn to cover the cost of the gowns and PS11.6mn to cover costs incurred in the course of the case.
PPE Medpro is embroiled in an ongoing scandal following reports that Baroness Michelle Mone, a lingerie entrepreneur, and Tory party peer, lobbied ministers using personal email addresses to secure lucrative contracts for her husband’s company.
It was revealed that at least PS65mn of profits from the company were sent by bank documents to accounts that benefit Mone or Douglas Barrowman. Mone and Barrowman previously denied any involvement in PPE Medpro.
Heavy criticism has been levelled at the UK government for awarding contracts totalling more than PS13bn related to PPE procurement in the context of the pandemic. PPE Medpro was one of the most prominent groups involved in the controversy.
In a separate legal case, High Court found that UK government had illegally operated a VIP lane for suppliers of personal protection equipment who had connections with politicians and government officials.
PPE Medpro stated in a statement that “DHSC’s complaints were contrived after this event, and are hollow.” All certificates of sterilization were produced by us when we delivered the gowns. This shows that there was a valid process to achieve the required level.
“We stand behind our gowns and our solutions. We are confident that DHSC’s allegations will be disproven by our legal defense.
DHSC did no immediate respond to a request to comment.