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French COVID-19 Restaurant Compensation Ruling Could Leads to Claims Globally

Posted on: May 27th, 2020

Following a Paris court ruling last week that AXA has committed to paying out the majority of business interruption claims from some restaurant owners in France.

The ruling last week said that AXA should pay a restaurant owner two months’ worth of revenue losses caused by the virus pandemic.  The case had been marked as possible precedent for coronavirus-related disputes across the world.

During the case AXA had claimed that the policies it provided did not include cover for business disruption due to a health crisis. The owner of four Paris restaurants, Stephane Manigold, brought the case against the French insurer and claimed that she has been contacted by individuals from the United Kingdom South Africa, Spain and the US asking for details of their case. He referred to the decision in the case as having “global resonance”.

Manigold’s four Paris restaurants include the Michelin-starred Maison Rostang. It had been argued during the case that his policy did not cover the emergency lockdown.  Due to the ruling in the Paris Commercial Court, Axa France must make an initial payment of €45,000 to Mr Manigold while a court-appointed expert assesses the extent of his losses.

AXA chief executive Thomas Buberl revealed that, despite the company’s appeal of the Paris ruling, they are hoping to devise an amicable solution and planned to meet the bulk of claims from restaurant owners. He said they the contracts some of the restaurants had with AXA may have some ambiguity in them.

He said: “These contracts represent less than 10% out of total contracts with restaurant owners and I am confident that we will find a solution. We want to compensate a substantial part of these contracts, we want to do it quickly.”

AXA also revealed that it will be providing an additional €500m in aid for small firms, on top their previously shared plans to invest €1.7 billion in domestic French companies. Buberl said in relation to this: “The idea is clearly to reinforce those companies which are weakened by this crisis”.

 

A number of other French insurance companies have revealed that they will pay out business interruption loss claims submitted by some of their policy holders, depending on specific contracts. Generali France, for example, has released a public statement that it will be make payments to 600 hospitality businesses.

There have been no reports of Irish restaurants submitting legal actions in relation to the the COVID-19 pandemic as of yet. Following the ruling in Paris last week it would come as no surprise to see such a step taken.

 

Daughter of Man who Died after being Expelled from Pub €30,000 Awarded Injury Compensation

Posted on: June 28th, 2019


The daughter of a man sadly passed away following a heart attack has been awarded €30,000 personal injury compensation in a High Court settlement. Before having the heart attack he had been thrown out of a late night bar by security staff at the venue.

The deceased man, Paraic O’Donnell, was 39-years-old at the time of his death and had an address at St Finian’s Close, Achill Sound, Achill, Co Mayo, had been suffering from an underlying health problem. He suffered the heart attack as he was being taken to a Garda Station, in the aftermath of being removed from Cox’s Late Bar in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on June 6, 2012 for alleged threatening behaviour.

12-year-old Edel O’Donnell , the man’s daughter, took the personal injury compensation action via her mother Claire Scahill, against the licensee of Cox’s, two security personnel who threw removed him, the Garda Commissioner and the Ministers for Justice and Finance.

Legal representatives for Edel, Conall MacCarthy BL, said it was a very unfortunate and tragic case in which Mr O’Donnell was customer of the bar and suffered from a chronic underlying condition when he was removed from the premises and before having a heart attack which led to his death.

Throughout the case it was claimed that when he arrived at Castlebar Garda Station, Mr O’Donnell was not responding. Due to this he was brought to hospital for emergency treatment. How before any treatment could be administered he had died.

The licensee made the argument that reasonable force was employed remove Mr O’Donnell after he had engaged in violent and threatening behaviour towards the security personnel.  The State legal representatives refuted the allegations and said he caused and/or added to the issues which lead to his death.

The case against the Cox establishment and the security men was struck out and the settlement offered was against the gardai and the ministers.

In relation to liability, legal counsel was given that said there could be difficulties in establishing liability as the licensee was acting within the law when Mr O’Donnell was removed from the pub. The same problems were also in to be seen in relation to liability against the State bodies.

Presiding Judge Justice Simons said it was clear to see from the case the public house discharged its duty of care and it was not obvious what argument would have been made against the State bodies. He concluded that he had no hesitation in approving the settlement sum of €30,000 agreed.

Cork Co & City Council pay out €15m in Compensation Payments Since 2016

Posted on: May 2nd, 2019

€15m in compensation payment has has been made by Cork City and County councils for slips, trips, and falls since 2016. Information obtained using a Freedom of Information Act request also indicates that there are hundreds of cases yet to be settled.

So far in 2019, up to March 31, €1,144,594 for personal injury claims by Cork City Council in relation to slips, trips, and falls in the public realm, including parks and common areas in council-owned housing estates. This compares to the totals amount paid out in over the last couple of years as follows:

  • €4,350,550 in 2018
  • €4,254,068 in 2017
  • €3,999,606 in 2016.

For the same time periods Cork County Council paid:

  • €129,626 in 2018
  • €667,754 in 2017
  • €782,035 in 2016

Currently for Cork City Council there are 455 personal injury claims unsettled as of March 31, 2019. Cork County Council have 230 unsettled cases as of the same date.

Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon, a former lord mayor of Cork, claims that this is the result of years of poor investment in the public realm.

He said: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”

He claimed (Mr Shannon) that Cork City Council has allocated €5m in 2019 for potential personal injury compensation payouts.

To address this the Council has been allocated €200,000 is due to the council this year to, according to Mr Shannon “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.

He described this amount as insufficient saying the funds will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.