Monday 18 November 2019

Widow is offered €800k for house repairs and hotel stay

Tim Healy and Grainne Cunningham

A WIDOWED mother of two whose home was damaged by water has been offered some €800,000 toward repairs and her chosen alternative accommodation in the five-star Four Seasons Hotel.

Ann Marie Glennon Cully said she is prepared to accept a €645,000 offer from AXA Insurance Ltd, following earlier payments totalling €159,000, in settlement of injunction proceedings against the insurer.

She and her children Zane and Zara had sued AXA alleging unacceptable delays in having their home – Victoria House, St John's Road, Sandymount – repaired so they could return to live in it.

AXA previously agreed to pay €514,000 for a first phase of repair works but disputed a claim for €256,000 for a second phase.

It paid €7,500 per month for the family's accommodation in a penthouse apartment at Dublin's luxurious Four Seasons Hotel from October 2011, but it argued against continuing to pay that amount after March 2012, instead offering €5,000 per month.

Damage

The house was water damaged in late 2009 and, after further such damage in autumn 2011, the family claimed it was uninhabitable.

In October 2011, they moved into a one-bedroom apartment, plus a standard double room at the Four Seasons. Since December 2011, they have been living in the one-bedroom apartment which her mother described as "cramped".

Guests have access to the hotel's gym, pool and spa and rental includes all heating and lighting expenses.

Ms Glennon Cully said, while there were other houses similar to her home on Dublin's Ailesbury, Shrewsbury and Simmonscourt roads at rents between €7,000-€10,000 monthly, they were not available. They moved into the Four Seasons because it was near their home and the only nearby hotel that would take the children's pets.

AXA argued she herself chose the "very expensive" Four Seasons and was intent on staying there "at all costs".

It claimed she "set her face" against other substantial family residences and refused to even view a four-bedroom house on St John's Road for rent at €1,900 monthly.

Ms Glennon Cully said that house was not "similar" to hers as it was in "a housing estate", semi-detached and one-third of the size of her home "with only a tiny garden and not gated".

The case was before Mr Justice Peter Kelly in the High Court, pending a full hearing, requiring AXA pay them sums of €75,000, plus €9,000 due to the Four Seasons and €7,500 per month for their accommodation for the next six months.

The judge, who said AXA appeared to have behaved "reasonably", adjourned the matter for mention today to consult with Zane on the offer.

Irish Independent

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