Ill Mansfield ordered to testify in case over unpaid legal costs
Published 15/12/2010 | 05:00
HOTELIER Jim Mansfield is too ill to give evidence in person in a case over €166,000 unpaid legal costs, the High Court heard yesterday.
But the court ruled he must instead give sworn evidence at his home about his assets and the assets of the firm operating the Citywest Hotel complex.
It follows the company's alleged failure to fully implement a settlement of legal proceedings brought by former Citywest Hotel manager John Glynn over his dismissal.
Mr Glynn had sued HSS Ltd for alleged wrongful dismissal and the case was settled last May. He claims, while damages have been paid, his legal costs of some €166,000 have not.
Arising from that non-payment, Mr Glynn's lawyers applied to cross-examine the directors of HSS Ltd about their assets.
Mr Mansfield's sons, Anthony and Patrick Mansfield, as directors of HSS, have already appeared before the Master of the High Court Edmund Honohan as part of that application.
Mr Glynn's lawyers also sought to examine their father Jim, but were told he was unable to give evidence in court for health reasons. They then applied to be permitted to take evidence "on commission" from Mr Mansfield.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy ruled while Mr Mansfield, for health reasons, was unable to give evidence in court, evidence could be taken at his home at Tassaggart House, Saggart, Co Dublin, on Friday.
While it may take a little bit longer, there was nothing to say Mr Mansfield, aged in his 70s, could not give evidence in that way, the judge said.
Dara Breen, counsel for Mr Mansfield, had earlier submitted evidence from two medical consultants concerning a deterioration in his client's health and argued Mr Mansfield was incapable of giving evidence.
Robert Beatty, for Mr Glynn, said HSS was an unlimited company with enormous assets valued at more than €200m and there was an indebtedness to Bank of Scotland of some €135m. A receiver had been appointed in July last.
When Anthony and Patrick Mansfield appeared before the Master of the High Court, he was told they had asked an accountant to obtain from the receiver over Citywest any documents related to property owned by HSS or any debts owed to the firm but were unable to get those documents.
Mr Justice Murphy had last September made an order requiring the brothers and their father to attend for oral examination as to what debts may be owing to them or HSS and what other property they or their company may own.
Mr Glynn's lawyers have argued the only way of executing the €166,000 judgment against the defendants was to bring them before the court for cross-examination about assets.