Tag Archive for: Cahir

Win for Publicans in business interruption insurance case!

On 5th February 2021, the High Court ruled that several publicans were entitled to cover under FBD Insurance business interruption policies, for losses suffered because of the Covid 19 pandemic. This was a similar outcome to a case already decided in the UK Supreme court.

Justice Denis McDonald found that a policy sold by FBD covered losses sustained by the pubs having to close due to Covid 19. This ruling is similar to the recent UK Supreme Court decision of 15 January 2021 where the insurance regulator successfully challenged insurers refusal to indemnify certain businesses under business interruption policies.

FBD argued that their policy did not cover the disruption caused by Covid 19 as it never provided for pandemics, however the High Court disagreed, finding that cover is not lost where the closure of the business affected is prompted by a nationwide outbreak of a disease, provided that the outbreak is within a 25 mile radius and is one of the reasons for the closure of the business.

This is a significant ruling for many businesses with similar business interruption policies. It remains to be seen however whether this ruling will be appealed in the near future. Mr Justice McDonald has delayed a decision quantifying the losses suffered by the publicans until a later date and we will be able to update you once this aspect of the judgement is given.

Following the judgement, Insurance companies indicated that they would work with insured clients. Whilst this case was against FBD, the principles apply to all insurance companies. The full text of the judgement can be found here https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/8bfaa5dd-3ea3-4580-979f-0dfb2d8243be/2021_IEHC_78.pdf/pdf#view=fitH

If you are a publican, restaurant or business owner and feel you might be affected by this judgement, you should first read carefully your insurance policy, liaise with your broker and if you have any questions contact our Head of our litigation Lorcan Dunphy at 062 61288 or email ldunphy@dtryan.ie

Consumer Contracts Bill

This issue of insurance reform is a current topic of discussion. This Consumer Contracts Bill is currently making it ways through the Houses of the Oireachtas. It was hoped to that it would become law in 2020, however the talk of a general election might delay its finalisation.

The law aims to make it more difficult for Insurance Companies to refuse to pay a valid claim. The insurers will also have to notify the insured when they plan to settle a claim. Being kept in the dark has been a source of complaints for insured person.

Another change will be that the onus will be on insurers to ask the relevant questions when a consumer or small firm is taking out a policy. This is a reversal of the current situation where the policy holder is expected to anticipate what has to be disclosed.

Our view here in Donal T. Ryan Solicitors LLP is that anything that places a bigger obligation on insurers can only be a good thing.

If you have any queries on the enclosed, or a query on insurance do not hesitate to contact Donal Ryan or Lorcan Dunphy in our Cashel office at 062 61288

Local Courts – Immediate Access – Family law

The District Court is a Court of local and limited jurisdiction but is the work of this Court that the general public hear about most often – have you heard Paddy O’Gorman on the Today with Sean O’Rourke RTE radio show?

The District Court is usually held once or perhaps twice a month in a local town and deals with a variety of cases. From a Family Law point of view it is often the Court of first contact for parties when their relationships have broken down, and they require immediate protection from the Courts. Orders under the Domestic Violence Legislation or Maintenance and Access to children are the types of situations that are dealt with by the District Court on a day to day basis.

In this blog, I set out the types of family law applications that can be made in the District Court and the range of Orders that can be made by the Court.

One of the most common applications to the District Court is for a Protection order – when a party is in fear of, their partner or the other parent of their child and the protection of the Court is required. A Protection order enables a party who feels that their health and safety is at risk, and they are in fear of the other person to apply to the Court in an ex-parte application ( without notice to the other side) and after giving information to the Judge under Oath – why they should be given the protection of the Court. If the Court accepts their evidence then the party can get a Protection Order which prohibits the other person from using violence, threatening violence, molesting or putting the victim/partner/spouse in fear. This is a temporary Order and only lasts until the hearing of the main Court case where the party against whom it is sought has the right to put their case forward.

The long term applications that can be sought in the District Court are a Barring Order for a period of up to three years and a Safety Order for a period of up to five years.

The other most common order in the District Court relates to Maintenance – this is where a parent / spouse / partner can apply to the Court and seek a regular payment from the other parent / spouse or partner. The District Court only has the power to Order payments to a maximum of €150.00 per week per child and €500.00 per week in respect of a spouse. If you are seeking a payment above this, an application needs to be made to the Circuit Court. It is also possible as part of the Court Order to have your maintenance paid through the District Court Clerk’s office. If the maintenance is not paid, then it is open to the Maintenance Creditor to again apply to the Court for a variety of reliefs.

The District Court is a Court of first jurisdiction and the work of the District Court especially in family law matters is of most importance to the general public.

Donal T.Ryan Solicitors LLP Cashel and Cahir, represent clients in all Courts. Aidan Leahy and Máire McMahon are experienced District Court practitioners in all aspects of Court work. Contact us at 062 61288 or 052 7441244 or www.dtryan.ie