Tayside and Central Scotland

Whisky giant Diageo sued over 'angel’s share' fungus claims

Whisky Image copyright Getty Images

A couple who claim that the "angel's share" from a whisky bond has blighted their property have been given the go-ahead to take the case to court.

Thomas and Gail Chalmers claim that the vapour has caused damage to outdoor furniture and their house in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk.

The couple are suing drinks giant Diageo for £40,000.

The firm is contesting the Court of Session action, claiming the property's value is not adversely affected.

The "angel's share" is the term given to the loss of whisky volume, into the wooden cask and through evaporation, as the spirit matures. Up to 2% can enter the atmosphere a year.

In the action, the couple, from the town's Woodlea Gardens, claim that the "nuisance" of the ethanol vapour has caused a black fungus on houses in the area.

They say the fungus has also attacked wooden garden furniture, paving stones and damaged a sundeck.

The issue was first raised more than a decade ago.

Property values

The couple maintain that the value of their house has been reduced by between 5 and 10% because of the effects of the fungus on properties.

They also said their cars were affected by the fungus.

Diageo claims that the blackening complained of does not cause serious disturbance, substantial inconvenience or material damage and property values are not affected.

The firm previously tried to have the claim dismissed but a judge rejected the move and a second bid to get the case thrown out has been rejected. It will now go to an evidential hearing.

Image caption In 2009 a Health Protection Scotland study could find "no direct link" between the mould affecting homes and the Bonnybridge whisky bond

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