A FAMILY in dispute with their insurer over costs of repairs to their water-damaged home have been told they must next week leave their apartment in Dublin's Four Season Hotel, a judge was told.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told the dispute over Ann Marie Glennon Cully family's exact entitlements from Axa Insurance Ltd remains unresolved and they have been told they must leave their rented one-bed apartment by June 6.
"Mercifully, I will be spared having to deal further with these matters," the judge remarked, noting the dispute between Ms Glennon Cully and AXA will be thrashed out later at a full hearing before another judge.
In October 2011, Ms Glennon Cully and her adult children Zane and Zara moved into the one-bedroom apartment at Dublin's Four Seasons hotel complex after their home at Victoria House, St John's Road, Sandymount, Dublin, was extensively flood-damaged a second time. They previously told the court they were unable to obtain suitable other accommodation pending the carrying out of repair works.
They sued AXA After failure to agree on issues related to the nature of repair works to the house, described as essentially derelict.
AXA had paid €159,000 and last February said it would pay another €645,000 but disputed liability for any more. Any additional liability would have to be determined at a full hearing, the court was told.
The judge heard AXA is reluctant to pay out the full €645,000 until the family allows it inspection facilities concerning the repair works.
Michael Forde SC, for the family, complained they had received just €40,000 of the €645,000 and had used that to pay bills. The family had expected to be paid a substantial amount of the €645,000 promptly, were under pressure to move from their flat by June 6 as they were told it was to be sold and had nowhere else to go because they were unable to prove they could pay rent, he said.
While a letter from AXA had said there was no dispute about indemnity and it was prepared to pay the reasonable costs of repair works, it had not responded to his side's letter seeking confirmation of that position, counsel said.
Paul Fogarty, for AXA, said very little progress had been made since the matter was before the court last. AXA had been shown no draft contracts for repair works and was anxious the €640,000 would be used for such works.
The judge said his understanding of AXA's stance last February was it would pay the €640,000 and leave it to the family to organise the repairs themselves with the court to later decide the issue of any additional liability.
Mr Fogarty said AXA became concerned after receiving a letter indicating the family "would use the money for what they liked".
If the money was not used properly, the property will still deteriorate, raising issues about AXA's future liability, he said. AXA did not want to supervise the repair works but rather wanted inspection facilities to ensure works were being carried out.
The judge said he had refused certain interim orders sought by the family earlier this year but, in a bid to ensure good sense would prevail, he had put a stay on a costs order "in the hope, rather than expectation" the matter would be solved satisfactorily.
As this was not a Commercial Court matter and did not involve arbitration issues, he was not required to deal with it any longer and it would be dealt with by another High Court judge, he said. The stay on the costs order would continue.
The family's home was first flood damaged in late 2009 and again in autumn 2011. Last February, Mr Justice Kelly refusing injunctions requiring AXA pay them an interim €100,000 to meet payments including for another six months in the Four Seasons. The case will come before another judge next month.