Thursday 17 October 2019

Legal dispute between two dentists over claims of spying and soliciting clients settled

Both parties withdrew all allegations of improper conduct against each other. (Stock photo)
Both parties withdrew all allegations of improper conduct against each other. (Stock photo)

Tim Healy

A High Court dispute between two dentists who operate their separate practices out of the same premises has been resolved.

Both parties withdrew all allegations of improper conduct against each other. 

Dr. Michael Maguire and Dr James Hiney had for many years worked well alongside each other in their dental practices in a building they co-own at Market Point, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

The court heard that relationship became "toxic" and, in proceedings launched last June, Dr Maguire claimed his staff were put under surveillance by a secret camera installed in a hole in the ceiling of the shared premises by Dr Hiney.

Dr Hiney claimed the camera was put in for security reasons and denied it was used to spy on Dr Maguire or his staff, as alleged.

Dr Maguire did not accept that explanation and sought various injunctions against Dr Hiney including one preventing the defendant from monitoring and surveillance of his employees.

The case that was adjourned from time to time returned before the court on Thursday when Stephen Byrne Bl for Dr Maguire said that following "a second mediation" between the parties that ended late on Wednesday night, the proceedings had been settled and could be struck out.

As part of the settlement, in a statement read to the court, it said that "in the course of the division of the two dentist's practices a number of difficulties and disagreements arose between the parties."

"These unfortunately resulted in various allegations and counter allegations being made about the conduct of the dentists and their respective employees, including in the proceedings that came before the court."

"These proceedings have compromised in terms acceptable to the two dentists."

Counsel said "for the avoidance of doubt the dentists unconditionally withdraw all and any allegations of improper conduct of any description against each other made during this difficult period."

"Dr Maguire now acknowledges that in installing CCTV cameras in the premises that Dr Hiney did not intend to survey Dr Maguire or his patients."

"Dr Maguire understands that Dr Hiney installed the cameras following consultation with An Garda Siochana."

"Dr Maguire now further acknowledges that any contact by Dr Hiney of Dr Maguire's patients was not for the purposes of solicitation."

"Both Dr Maguire and Dr Hiney are now pleased that the proceedings have been resolved" counsel concluded.

No other details of the settlement agreement were revealed.

Welcoming the resolution Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds agreed to strike out the case. 

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