High Court issues further ruling on FBD case

High Court issues further ruling on FBD case

The High Court has issued a further ruling in the landmark FBD case, dealing with issues around quantum.

The test cases brought by four pubs – The Leopardstown Inn, Sinnotts, Seán’s Bar, and Lemon and Duke – concern their business interruption insurance policies with FBD and how they apply to their periods of closure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The court ruled in February 2021 that FBD was required to pay the pubs and issued a further judgment in April 2021 on the interpretation of the word “closure”.

The latest 201-page judgment explores issues around quantum, though some of the issues remain unresolved.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said: “Going forward, I would urge the parties to make every effort to seek to resolve the outstanding issues in dispute between them. Enormous efforts have been expended to date by all sides in the pursuit and defence of this litigation.

“I am very strongly of the view that, with constructive engagement on all sides, many of the remaining issues in dispute can be resolved without the need for further court hearings.”

The case will return to court on 17 February to consider “the next steps that require to be taken on foot of his judgment”, he added.

Responding to the judgment, Seán Fleming, the minister of state with responsibility for financial services, credit unions and insurance, said: “As with the initial judgment last February, the findings are substantial and will take some time for all parties to consider.

“However, I note that the court has asked the parties to make every effort to resolve outstanding issues between themselves. This approach is to be encouraged, and where a contractual liability exists, the government expects that such claims are settled promptly.”

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