East Cork Foods v O'Dwyer Steel

Judgment Date01 January 1978
Date01 January 1978
Docket Number[1971 No. 243 P.]
CourtSupreme Court
East Cork Foods
O'Dwyer Steel

Recovery - Money paid pursuant to legal obligation - Obligation cancelled by appeal court - Nature of payer's remedy - Whether payer entitled to interest on amount paid - Debtor's (Ireland) Act, 1840 (3 4 Vict., c. 105), s. 53 - Civil Liability Act, 1961 (No. 41), ss. 21, 23, 24.

The claimant and the respondent had been sued as co-defendants in an action brought in the High Court by a plaintiff who was injured in an accident which occurred when he was an employee of the respondent. The plaintiff claimed damages for negligence. The claimant and respondent delivered defences to the plaintiff's claim, and each of them served a notice claiming from the other pursuant to s. 21 of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, a contribution towards or an indemnity against its liability to the plaintiff. At the trial of the action the claimant and the respondent consented (without prejudice to the claims inter se) to judgment for £25,000 damages and costs being entered against them. The trial judge then apportioned on the respondent 80% of the fault for the plaintiff's damage and directed the respondent to pay the applicant a contribution of £20,000 towards the damages of £25,000. Pursuant to the judgment of the High Court, the respondent in December, 1975, paid £20,000 to the claimant and then appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court's apportionment of fault. Having allowed the respondent's appeal on the basis of a finding that the claimant had been 100% at fault, the Supreme Court on the 4th May, 1977, ruled that the respondent was entitled to recover £20,000 from the claimant. After the respondent's appeal had been allowed the claimant acknowledged its obligation to repay the £20,000 to the respondent, but the claimant resisted the respondent's claim to be paid interest on that sum from the date on which it was paid, or to be paid damages for loss of profits, and that issue was tried separately by the Supreme Court. Held by the Supreme Court (O'Higgins C.J., Henchy and...

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32 cases
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  • Re P.M.P.A. Garages Ltd (No. 2)
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    ...inequitable to allow the companies to retain the monies. Sinclair v. BroughamELR [1914] A.C. 398 and East Cork Foodsv. O'Dwyer SteelIR [1978] I.R. 103 followed. 3. That although a body corporate could not enforce a contract the making of which was ultra vires its powers the other party to s......
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