A 34-year-old businessman was facing financial ruin today after he lost almost £90,000 - including £48,000 in legal fees - despite winning £1,000 in an action against a Porsche car dealership.
Model shop owner Damian Markland, of Preston, Lancashire, was hoping to get £40,000 when he sued over costly engine repairs and mechanical mistakes to his 911 car.
But after a six-year legal battle a court eventually awarded Mr Markland just £998 - less than half the £2,500 the garage offered him as an out of court settlement just one year ago.
Expensive battles: Model shop owner Damian Markland, 34, of Preston, Lancashire, was hoping to get £40,000 when he sued over costly engine repairs and mechanical mistakes to his 911 car
His total bill also includes the £35,000 repair work and £6,000 in car rental fees. Mr Markland said he will now have to sell his shop and the car - which is now in good working order - to pay off the fees.
In making his ruling one of Britain’s top judges said he had ‘every sympathy’ with the businessman - who could also lose his home - and admitted he had got ‘his fingers burnt very badly.’
Mr Markland 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. The court system has let me down and to add insult to injury the solicitor fees just topped everything off.
'To me that’s really wrong, it’s terrible. It was the final insult. I have always had faith in the justice system but now I don’t. It’s been a horrible experience which I wouldn’t have expected in buying my dream car - and it has ruined my life and my business.
Paperwork: After a six-year legal battle a court eventually awarded Mr Markland just £998 - less than half the £2,500 the garage offered him as an out of court settlement just one year ago
‘My shop is now up for sale which I have worked hard to make a success with me working six days a week - all so I could buy my dream car.
‘I’ve worked hard and now my business is going to go under all because of these costs.’
Mr Markland had bought the second-hand Porsche 911 GT3 MK1, which had 25,000 miles on the clock, for £48,000 in 2007.
Despite it having a full Porsche service history the luxury car began experience technical problems and he took it to the Porsche Centre Bolton, operated by Pendragon Sabre.
Mechanics were asked to resolve problems including power steering failure, a loss of power and the engine repeatedly cutting out. Mr Markland also ordered new tyres, a new clutch and a full service to bring the car into ‘the best possible condition.’
But during the course of the rebuild only one of the 12 cam shaft followers was replaced and the failure of a further component led to the engine later seizing and suffering ‘catastrophic failure’.