Dunne v P.J. White Construction Company Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeFINLAY C. J.
Judgment Date01 January 1989
Neutral Citation1989 WJSC-SC 1360
Date01 January 1989

1989 WJSC-SC 1360

THE SUPREME COURT

Finlay C. J.

Henchy J.

Griffin J.

Hederman J.

McCarthy J.

DUNNE v. P J WHITE CONSTRUCTION CO LTD

BETWEEN

MICHAEL DUNNE
Plaintiff/
Appellant

and

P. J. WHITE CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD. (in liquidation) & MICHAEL PAYNE & ORS.
Defendants/
Respondents

Citations:

CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961 S62

Synopsis:

ACTION

Cause

Insured - Wrong - Damage - Injured party - Claim for damages - Insured insolvent - Statutory relief - Injured party entitled to claim relief against insurer - (201/85 - Supreme Court - 18/2/86) - [1989] ILRM 803.

|Dunne v. P.J. White Construction Co.|

INSURANCE

Insured

Insolvency - Insurer - Obligations - Plaintiff injured by wrong of insured - Right of plaintiff to receive benefit of insurance policy - (201/85 - Supreme Court - 18/2/86) - [1989] ILRM 803.

|Dunne v. P.J. White Construction Co.|

EVIDENCE

Onus of proof

Plaintiff - Claim - Validity - Pleadings - Validity of claim denied - Insurance moneys - Insolvency of insured - Moneys applicable only to discharge of valid claim against the insured - Insurer bound to prove entitlement to repudiate liability to indemnify insured - Civil Liability Act, 1961, s. 62 - (201/85 - Supreme Court - 18/2/86) - [1989] ILRM 803.

|Dunne v. P.J. White Construction Co.|

1

JUDGMENT delivered on the 18th February 1986 by FINLAY C. J.

2

This is an appeal brought by the Plaintiff against the dismiss by the High Court of his claim against the second-named Defendants (the Respondents). The Plaintiffs" claim against the Respondents was for a declaration

"That the sum of £143,586 and costs which were awarded to the Plaintiff herein on the 16th February 1982 before a High Court Judge and jury constitutes an award for a wrong and the second-named Defendants are obliged under the terms of the policy of insurance entered into with the first-named Defendants to pay the required monies to the Plaintiff herein and to discharge the said sum for damages and costs pursuant to the provisions of the policy of insurance."

3

In the High Court, Murphy J., at the conclusion of the evidence for the Plaintiff dismissed the claim on an application made on behalf of these Defendants. He did so on the grounds that as a matter of law the onus was on the Plaintiff, not only of establishing that a policy of insurance existed, issued by these Defendants to the first Defendant, which covered the risk of an accident, such as the accident in respect of which the Plaintiff had obtained his damages, but that there was also on the Plaintiff the onus of proving as a negative that a right asserted or alleged by these Defendants in the pleadings to rescind or repudiate the policy of insurance had not arisen. The learned trial Judge held that the Plaintiff had failed to discharge this latter onus and accordingly dismissed the claim.

4

It is against that decision that the Plaintiff has appealed, and there has been no cross-appeal. The net issue before this Court, therefore, is as to whether the learned trial Judge was correct in his view of the onus which the law placed on the Plaintiff.

5

The Plaintiff brings this action under the terms of Section 62 of the Civil Liability Act of 1961. The relevant parts of that Section provide that where a person who has effected a policy of insurance in respect of liability for a wrong as a corporate body is wound up, monies payable to the insured under the policy shall be applicable only to discharging in full all valid claims against the insured in respect of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
10 cases
  • Donnellan v Westport Textiles Ltd and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 January 2011
    ...followed - Kilcoyne v Westport Textiles Ltd [2006] IEHC 256, (Unrep, Finnegan P, 26/7/2006); Dunne v PJ Whyte Construction Ltd [1989] ILRM 803; Primor plc v Stokes Kennedy Crowley [1996] 2 IR 459; Sheehan v Amond [1982] IR 235; O'Domhnaill v Merrick [1984] IR 151; Rainsford v Limerick Corpo......
  • Mythen Construction Ltd v Allianz Plc
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 8 June 2020
    ...the normal privity of contract rule, citing the decision of the Supreme Court in Dunne v PJ White Construction Co Ltd (in liquidation) [1989] ILRM 803. Held by Collins J that the High Court Judge erred in refusing discovery; the Judge went beyond the proper parameters of the jurisdiction sh......
  • McCarron v Modern Timber Homes Ltd ((in Liquidation)) and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 3 December 2012
    ...DANIEL McCOLGAN AND QUINN INSURANCE LTD DEFENDANTS CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961 S62 DUNNE v PJ WHITE CONSTRUCTION LTD (IN LIQUIDATION) 1989 ILRM 803 POST OFFICE v NORWICH UNION FIRE INSURANCE 1967 1 AER 577 BRADLEY v EAGLE STAR INSURANCE CO LTD 1989 1 AER 961 THIRD PARTIES (RIGHTS AGAINST INSU......
  • Shi v Ernst and Young Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 31 October 2017
    ...party to prove entitlement to repudiate the liability. In this regard, counsel cites Dunne v. P.J. White Construction Co. Limited [1989] I.L.R.M. 803 and Hu v. Duleek Formwork Limited (In liquidation) [2013] IEHC 50. 20 It is submitted that the second named defendant's insurer has failed ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
  • High Court Confirms That Third Party Rights Against Insurers In Ireland Are Restricted
    • Ireland
    • Mondaq Ireland
    • 2 November 2015
    ...or sued; and the courts will recognise a valid repudiation by an insurer. Previous Authorities In Dunne v PJ White Construction Company [1989] ILRM 803 the Supreme Court considered it to be "an inevitable consequence" of section 62 that it creates a right of action in favour of an injured t......
  • High Court Confirms That Third-Party Rights Against Insurers Are Restricted
    • Ireland
    • Mondaq Ireland
    • 13 November 2015
    ...Civil Liability Act 1961. For further information on this topic please contact April McClements at Matheson . Footnotes (2014) IEHC 692. (1989) ILRM 803. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your s......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT