Promontoria bans suing doctor over Ulster Bank loan

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One fund was permanently prevented by the Court of Appeal from seeking to recover some 1.6 million euros from a doctor under a loan issued by Ulster Bank Ireland in 2007.

The three-judge tribunal on Friday allowed Neil Healy’s appeal against a High Court ruling that Promontoria (Aran) Ltd has the right to recover that sum.

The High Court finding was made in 2018 following a rehearing of the proceedings by Dr Healy, with an address in Lough Sheever Corprate Park, Mullingar.

In 2015, the Supreme Court ordered the hearing after allowing Dr Healy’s appeal against a 2009 High Court dismissal of his claim that Ulster Bank had wrongly appropriated some € 667,000 from a deposit account to set off his contentious liability concerning a loan of 3.4 million euros.

Dr Healy had claimed he was released from his € 3.4 million loan guarantee during a meeting in August 2007 with an Ulster Bank official. The Supreme Court ruled that the 2009 High Court ruling “ignored” evidence from Dr Healy’s mother that supported her son’s account that the bank official had given some assurances.

Dr Healy had planned to develop a former hospital at Coole in Westmeath in 2005 with a medical colleague. They obtained a loan of 3.4 million euros from Ulster Bank Ireland and both provided guarantees for the loans.

They agreed in 2007 to terminate the agreement on the basis of Dr Healy receiving 2.2 million euros and his ex-partner taking over the assets and liabilities of the partnership.

The bank claimed that Dr Healy’s responsibility for the original loan was still in place and, in August 2008, deducted € 667,210 of the € 2.2 million outstanding debit balance of the € 3.4 million. .

Dr Healy claimed the bank was not allowed to do this and that he only deposited the € 2.2million with the bank after being insured in a meeting with Alan Leech, head of relations at the Mullingar branch, on August 1, 2007, that he was “in the clear” about his responsibility for the Coole project.

Her mother, who attended the meeting, provided evidence to support her account.

Following the new hearing, the High Court dismissed Dr Healy’s case in March 2018 and ordered Promontoria to recover € 1.63 million from him, plus costs.

In the Court of Appeal ruling allowing Dr Healy’s appeal, Judge Mary Faherty noted that the bank did not cross-appeal against the High Court finding that the assurances given by Mr Leech were ‘extended to all responsibilities concerning the Coole project.

The primary consideration in this appeal was whether the bank is, in fairness, foreclosed – precluded from asserting anything contrary to what was implied by its previous actions or statements to sue Dr Healy in respect of the liabilities Coole, she said.

She found that the High Court had erred in fact and in law by not owning the bank was permanently barred from clearing the funds in Dr Healy’s account and suing him for Coole’s debt.

Any reasonable person in the place of Dr Healy, who had just completed the series of transactions in question, in which the bank was centrally involved, would have treated Mr Leech’s comments as clearly representing that Dr Healy’s responsibilities regarding the Coole Project were over, she said. .

Dr Healy’s “completely reasonable” confidence in the bank’s insurance also had the effect of depriving him of the opportunity to take steps to safeguard his position on the agreements with his former business partner.

The judge said it was “unreasonable” for the bank, after August 1, 2007, to allow Dr Healy to use his funds for a year on the assumption that he was debt free Coole without disabusing him of this. belief. It was unreasonable for him to apply the compensation in August 2008 in the face of the insurance given to him a year earlier.

Promontoria, as the assignee of the loans, is bound by the bank’s statements and is barred, due to the bank’s conduct, from suing Dr Healy, she further argued.

The final orders resulting from the judgment will be issued at a later date.


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