Thursday 14 November 2019

'Four Seasons widow' fails to get €800k insurance deal

Tim Healy

A WIDOWED mother of two has failed to reach an expected €800,000 settlement with insurance giant AXA over the flooding of her home.

Ann Marie Glennon Cully's lawyers said despite the failure of the settlement, there were only "minimal" differences between her and the insurance company.

She and her children have been living in an apartment in the five-star Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin while waiting for their home to be repaired.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he had understood the settlement would be agreed on terms outlined by AXA in court on Thursday and he considered what was now going on to be "nonsense".

AXA's proposed settlement was "very reasonable, if not generous", he added.

Ms Glennon Cully took AXA to court, alleging delays in reinstatement work at her water-damaged home in Sandymount, Dublin.

Michael Forde, for Ms Glennon Cully, indicated the settlement provided for reinstatement works to her home over the coming months but issues had arisen concerning insurance of the premises.

Paul Fogarty, for AXA, said what was now being sought by Ms Glennon Cully did not reflect what AXA had proposed.

The court heard on Thursday that Ms Glennon Cully was prepared, subject to consent of her son Zane, to accept a settlement involving payment of some €645,000 for reinstatement works.

That follows payments by AXA of some €159,000 to cover costs including for the family's alternative accommodation in the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin.

Yesterday, Mr Forde said the issue that had arisen did not relate to Zane's consent.

After hearing both sides, the judge said the matter was clearly not settled and would proceed to hearing next week.

Ms Glennon Cully made a claim in January 2010 over damage to the family home resulting from "escaped water" in autumn 2009.

They left the house in October 2011 after another flooding incident and have since lived in the Four Seasons, saying it was the only nearby hotel that would take their pets – four dogs and a parrot.

In seeking orders this week requiring AXA to pay some €120,000 now, pending further proceedings, Ms Glennon Cully said she was in arrears of rent, owed other sums and had no savings.

AXA disputed any suggestions she was near destitute and said she had a house in Brittas Bay and her children had a €1.4m trust fund.

It previously decided to make "a generous cash offer" so Ms Glennon Cully could organise the reinstatement of her home as it considered her "impossible" to deal with, it said.

She disputed those and other claims and alleged AXA had engaged in "below-the-belt muck raking".

AXA said the family insisted in living in "a very expensive one-bedroom luxury apartment".

The insurance firm had paid €7,500 a month for alternative accommodation but reduced that to €5,000 per month from March 2012.

Irish Independent

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