Simon Larter was claiming the cost of replacing a lightweight summer suit, part of which had been damaged while in Sketchley’s care. The company had admitted liability and made an offer to Mr Larter. A company spokeswoman told LCN that this was based on a valuation of the garment by the TSA, taking into account the suit’s condition prior to cleaning. Mr Larter however thought that the amount was insufficient and went to court to claim the cost of replacement.

He was advised by the judge that should the case go to a full hearing, he might be awarded a lesser sum than that already offered. He was told that in cases of compensation, a claimant cannot leave court in a better position than he was in before entering into a contract.

Although he accepted the advice of the court, Mr Larter later issued a statement in which he said that he was genuinely surprised by the aggressive approach taken by Sketchley when negotiations first began. He added "It appeared to me that they were more interested in saving money than saving a customer.” He told LCN that he believed an equivalent suit cost around £500.