News Courts

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sheridan now 'happy' as he settles €4m home lawsuit

Tim Healy

Published 07/10/2010 | 05:00

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A HIGH Court action by film director Jim Sheridan and his wife over allegedly defective works to their luxury home was settled yesterday.

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Mr Sheridan and his wife Fran claimed they faced serious financial problems over alleged defective works to "Martha's Vineyard", Coliemore Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin.

They took the €4m lawsuit against a number of companies involved in the project, claiming the works had resulted in water seeping into their home over a number of years.

The claims were denied.

The terms of yesterday's settlement were confidential and afterwards, Mr Sheridan said he was happy. "It was a good day in court, I hate being in the court but I am glad to be out of there."

The case had been scheduled to last six weeks but just before it was due to open on Tuesday, counsel for the architects asked for time for talks.

In their action, it was claimed the Sheridans intended that "Martha's Vineyard" -- designed as a four-bedroomed house with its own seawater swimming pool -- would be "one of the finest and most spectacular coastal properties in Ireland".

However, they claimed, as a result of alleged negligence and breach of contract, the property suffered from extensive water ingress which resulted in substantial damage and frustrated efforts to sell it.

Their €4m claim included the cost of works to address the water problem and another €2m for estimated reduction in the value of the property due to that problem.

The couple claimed they could have sold it for €7m in 2007 but two potential purchasers, who were aware of the water problem, had pulled out because it was not resolved.

They also claimed they were now servicing two mortgages for "two exceptionally expensive properties" -- the Dalkey property and their other property at St Mary's Road, Ballsbridge.

The case was brought against: project managers and quantity surveyors Simon Hollingworth and Associates Ltd, Amsterdam Road, London; architects De Blacam and Meagher of St Catherine's Lane West, Dublin; and cement experts Cementaid (UK) Ltd, Crawley, West Sussex and Cementaid, Clifton House Lower, Lower Fitzwilliam St, Dublin. Also included were: consulting engineers Walsh & Goodfellow, Adelaide Chambers, Peter Street, Dublin; and builders Moortown Construction, with offices at Bradford, West Yorkshire and Moortown Construction (Ireland) Ltd, Churchfield, Tourmakeady, Co Mayo.

An eighth defendant, Gilmac Building Services Ltd, with a registered office c/o Grant Thornton UK LLP, Melton Street, London, has been in liquidation since 2007 and judgment has already been obtained against it in these proceedings.

The Sheridans alleged that Gilmac Building Services was negligent in installing an allegedly waterproof concrete system in 2004 and failed to carry out remedial works.

Problem

While some remedial works have since been carried out by other defendants, the general problem of water ingress remains unresolved, it was claimed.

The Sheridans bought the Dalkey property, then a fisherman's cottage in 1997.

De Blacam's were formally appointed as architects in August/September 2000.

In 2002, Hollingworth was appointed project manager and in 2003, an agreement was reached with Gilmac to build the house and pool for €2.2m.

It was alleged Gilmac was engaged by either or both of the Moortown companies as a sub-contractor to lay the waterproofing concrete works which were completed in May 2004.

De Blacam issued a certificate of practical completion in July 2005 but they (De Blacam) subsequently had to write to Gilmac on several occasions requiring it to return to do remedial works primarily related to water ingress, it was also claimed.

Irish Independent

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