Monday, February 2, 2015

One Typo Brought Down A 124-Year-Old Company

It took a century to build and a moment to destroy.

A family business that had been around for more than a century was run out of business after a United Kingdom government register made a typo in 2009 that listed the company as having gone bust.

The former co-owner of the company sued the government and recently won, The Telegraph reports. It took four years for the case to be decided.

Engineering firm Taylor & Sons Ltd was mistakenly listed on a UK government company register as being in liquidation when it was really another company — Taylor & Son Ltd (without the second “s”) — that had gone under. Once this information got out to creditors, suppliers started terminating orders, according to The Telegraph.

The mistake was caught within a few days, but by then, the damage was already done.

Managing director and co-owner Philip Davison-Sebry said he was on vacation in the Maldives when this all happened, and it was “like Armageddon” with clients calling him and asking what was going on.

The company fell apart within two months.

The High Court in Britain ruled in managing director and co-owner Philip Davison-Sebry’s favor and he’ll likely receive millions. The final payout has yet to be determined.

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