Temporary Stay Granted in Pig Feed Case

IRELAND - A businessman being sued over the pigfeed dioxin contamination scandal is appealing against the High Court’s refusal to halt the case against him and his company.
calendar icon 27 April 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

At the Commercial Court yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted Gerard Tierney a temporary stay on the High Court’s refusal to dismiss the case brought by Millstream Recycling Ltd, Clonmahon, Bunclody, Co Wexford, against Mr Tierney and his company, Newtown Lodge, Fairview, Dublin.

The temporary stay applies until 18 May when the judge will assess whether to continue it after being informed of the progress of efforts to secure an early hearing of Mr Tierney’s appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling.

IrishTimes.com reports that cecause appeals to the Supreme Court can in some cases take up to three years, lawyers for Millstream had expressed concern about the impact of a long stay on their proceedings.

Last March, Mr Tierney (75), Newtown Park Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, lost his High Court bid to stop the case in which it is claimed he and Newtown Lodge supplied defective oil which contaminated pig feed with dioxins and led to the recall of all Irish pork products in 2008 at a cost of more than €180 million.

Mr Tierney and Newtown had claimed Millstream had no prospect of success in its action against them. It was denied the oil supplied to Millstream was defective. If the oil was contaminated, Mr Tierney/Newtown claimed that was not their fault as, they alleged, it had been supplied to them by another company, O’Neill Fuels Ltd, Annaghmore Hill, Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

Dismissing the Tierney/Newtown application last month, Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled the case by Millstream should proceed against both Mr Tierney and his company.

He also refused an application by Tierney/Newtown to order Millstream to provide security for the defendants’ costs of the action. He noted Milstream was insolvent and facing a number of court claims totalling nearly €32m.

Millstream had argued any inability to pay those costs was as a result of the defendants alleged wrongdoing.

Mr Justice Kelly said he was satisfied to grant a stay until May 18th when the court was to be appraised of progress in seeking an early appeal before the Supreme Court.

The judge noted there are a large number of proceedings against Millstream arising out of the dioxin contamination. It had insurance cover for just €6.5 million although the number of claims was in the region of €32m.

Mr Justice Kelly also said there were separate High Court proceedings in which another judge had adjourned until July next an order for a meeting of Millstream’s creditors pending the outcome of the Commercial Court matters.

If it took 32 months or more before Tierney/Newtown’s Supreme Court appeal is heard, any successful outcome may be “rendered somewhat hollow” because of such a length of time and having regard to the other cases, the judge said.

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