Peterborough gym owner takes legal action after two-year wait for flood damage compensation from Network Rail

A Peterborough gym owner is taking legal action after a two-year wait for compensation for flooding damage he claims Network Rail is at fault for.

By Ben Jones
Monday, 25th October 2021, 7:45 am
Significant damage to flooring at Peterborough Judo and MMA Club.
Significant damage to flooring at Peterborough Judo and MMA Club.

Andrei Tsikheyenka’s gym, on Mallard Road in Bretton, was badly water damaged in August 2019, which was caused by a flood, believed to have been caused by nearby Network Rail works taking place close to the ice rink.

Mr Tsikheyenka had only opened the gym at the end of 2018 and insists that the water caused up to £80,000 of damage. The items damaged include a brand-new running machine, which was only two weeks old, a large number of judo mats, boxing bags and gloves left on the floor, floors in the changing rooms as well an entire specially-fitted spring-like floor surface, commonly found in gyms.

Mr Tsikheyenka also had to take on the cost of hiring a company to come and clear the water the following day and was not as fortunate as fellow nearby unit owners, who had insurance to cover the cost of repairs.

Significant damage to flooring at Peterborough Judo and MMA Club.

The gym is home to Peterborough and Judo MMA club and has been refurbished over the past two years but Mr Tsikheyenka is still waiting on compensation after being left unimpressed with the offers he has received so far and the speed at which the proceedings have moved.

He said: “The water caused so much damage. We had to rip the entire sponge flooring, we lost a brand new running machine and there was so much boxing equipment that was sitting on the floor and became water damaged.

“I of course tried to contact Network Rail and it felt like they were trying to avoid responsibility. It took over seven months to get a proper response. The involvement of solicitors rather than dealing with them directly has slowed everything down so much.

“I was disappointed with the offer I received though. I was detailing what was lost but they were showing me much cheaper and lower alternatives they had found. I told them that I couldn’t accept their first offer of £15,000, it was not enough money. This is specialist equipment we are talking about; it needs to be replaced with ones that are exactly the same.

Water damage at Peterborough Judo and MMA Club.

“They have never visited my place and although the offer has increased, it is still a long way from the original £80,000 claim I put in. I keep telling them, it would be in their interest to just settle rather than spend more than what I am asking for in legal fees.

“I want people to know what kind of damage can be done to small businesses by the actions of large ones.”

The case is set to be heard in court in November and Network rail have said that, due to the ongoing legal proceedings, they are unable to comment on any of the questions the Peterborough Telegraph put to them.