Pubs settle most FBD issues over Covid disruption but amounts owed have not been agreed

Two pubs that successfully challenged FBD’s failure to pay out business interruption claims due to Covid-19 have “substantially settled” most of their outstanding legal issues against the insurer, the High Court has heard.

the remaining issues between insurers and Dublin bar owners Aberken, trading as Sinnott’s Bar; Hyper Trust Ltd trading as ‘The Leopardstown Inn’, which were two of four parties that initiated testing against FBD, focus primarily on the size of the losses payable to the innkeepers.

Michael Cush SC for the two landlords told Judge Denis McDonald on Thursday that after lengthy and detailed discussions out of court, the insurers and its customers had “substantially settled” most of what remained between them.

Certain things needed to be completed and he asked the court to adjourn the case until Friday morning, he said.

The attorney said both sides are also asking the judge to clarify certain legal principles and make statements, if any, that will be included in a final settlement agreement that will be brought to court by the parties.

The lawyer, who appeared with James Doherty SC, said the court was asked to do so because the outcome of an agreement to quantify losses to the hundreds of other pubs and restaurants that were in the same position as his clients was significant Claims for business interruption are important.

Declan McGrath SC, for FBD, said his side asked the court to clarify certain aspects of the agreement with the two because of the “further implications” for the insurer.

The attorney said his side is concerned that without such clarifications from the court, the insurer fears the large amount of resources it has expended handling the lawsuits could be “effectively wasted”.

Mr Justice McDonald welcomed the fact that the parties were close to finalizing an agreement which he described as “very encouraging” and adjourned it to Friday’s court session.

He also said that before issuing any clarifications or explanations on the agreement, the court stands ready to hear comments from the parties on the legal principles at stake.

The judge had previously urged the parties to try to resolve the remaining differences between them in a lengthy and complex process in which the court has already rendered three verdicts.

Last year, in key test or conduct lawsuits affecting over 100 bars and restaurants, the judge ruled that a policy sold by FBD covered pub losses caused by the pandemic closure.

The test cases were brought in by four pub owners, including Aberken and Hyper Trust.

The other two parties, ‘Inn on Hibernian Way’ Ltd trading as Lemon & Duke. Leinster Overview Concepts Ltd, the owners of Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Co Westmeath, had previously settled the majority of its outstanding claims against FBD. Pubs settle most FBD issues over Covid disruption but amounts owed have not been agreed

Fry Electronics Team

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