Ticket Generator Ltd v Dublin Airport Authority & Others (No 1)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMiss Justice Laffoy
Judgment Date11 May 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEHC 215
CourtHigh Court
Date11 May 2012

[2012] IEHC 215

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 8979P/2011]
Ticket Generator Ltd v Dublin Airport Authority PLC & Ors

BETWEEN

TICKET GENERATOR LIMITED
PLAINTIFF

AND

DUBLIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY PLC, RYANAIR LIMITED AND RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC.
DEFENDANT

RSC O.29

PITT v BOLGER & BARRY 1996 1 IR 108 1996 2 ILRM 68 1996/7/2208

COMPANIES ACT 1963 S390

DELANY & MCGRATH CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS 3ED 2012 PARA 13.64

USK & DISTRICT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LTD v ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY & GREENSTAR RECYCLING HOLDINGS LTD 2006 1 ILRM 363 2006/56/12022 2006 IESC 1

PAROLEN LTD v DOHERTY & LINDAT LTD UNREP CLARKE 12.3.2010 2010/43/10857 2010 IEHC 71

COMHLUCHT PAIPEAR RIOMHAIREACHTA TEO (IN VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION) v UDARAS NA GAELTACHTA & ORS 1987 IR 684 1987/1/202

IRISH COMMERCIAL SOCIETY LTD (IN LIQUIDATION) & ORS v PLUNKETT & ORS 1988 IR 1 1989 ILRM 461 1988/8/2405

COMHLUCHT PAIPEAR RIOMHAIREACHTA TEO (IN VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION) v UDARAS NA GAELTACHTA & ORS 1990 1 IR 320 1990 ILRM 266 1989/4/1106

COMPANIES ACT 1963 S245

COMPANIES ACT 1963 S298

DELANY & MCGRATH CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS 3ED 2012 PARA 13.71

BULA LTD (IN RECEIVERSHIP) & ORS v TARA MINES LTD & ORS (NO 3) 1987 IR 494 1987/5/1305

THALLE v SOARES & ORS 1957 IR 182

PRACTICE & PROCEDURE

Security for costs

Prima facie defence - Discretion - Special circumstances - Means of plaintiff - Whether plaintiff unable to pay second defendant's costs - Whether special circumstances enabling court to exercise discretion not to order security for costs - Parolen Ltd v Doherty [2010] IEHC 71 (Unrep, Clarke J, 12/3/2010) followed - Irish Commercial Society Ltd v Plunkett [1988] IR 1 and Comhlucht Páipear Riomhaireachta Teo v Údarás na Gaeltachta [1987] IR 684, [1990] 1 IR 320 considered - Rules of the Superior Courts 1986 (SI 15/1986), O 29 - Application granted (2011/8979P - Laffoy J - 11/5/2012) [2012] IEHC 215

Ticket Generator Ltd v Dublin Airport Authority plc

Facts: The plaintiff had been granted a licence to sell train tickets in Dublin Airport. Following a dispute regarding the alleged behaviour of Ryanair (the second defendant) in discouraging passengers from buying tickets from the plaintiff, the plaintiff contended that this constituted intentional interference with the plaintiff”s contractual relations and also alleged injurious falsehood on the part of the third defendant. The second and third defendants sought security of costs in relation to the claim. Following discontinuance of the claim against the third defendant, the application was made on the part of the second defendant only.

Held by Laffoy J, that the approach in cases such as the present consisted of 3 points. Firstly, whether the defendant could demonstrate a prima facie defence and secondly, whether that the plaintiff would not be able to meet the defendant”s costs in the event that defence is successful. If the first two points were met, then security should be granted unless special circumstances required otherwise. Usk District Residents Association Ltd v Environmental Protection Agency [2006] 1 ILRM 363 followed.

The Court considered that the first two points had been met. In relation to the plaintiff”s submission that Ryanair”s alleged improper conduct was sufficient to constitute a special circumstance, the Court could see no basis for concluding security should not be required. Comhlucht Paipear Riomhaireachta Teo (In voluntary liquidation) v Udaras na Gaeltachta [1990] 1 IR 320 and Irish Commercial Society Ltd. (in liquidation) v Plunkett [1988] IR 1 considered.

The Court invited submissions on 3 points relating to the quantum of costs.

1

Judgment of Miss Justice Laffoy delivered on 11th day of May, 2012.

1. The application in the context of the proceedings
2

2 1.1 The plenary summons in these proceedings was issued on 7 th October, 2011. Originally, there were three defendants in the proceedings. On 29 th February, 2012 the plaintiff served notice of discontinuance on the third named defendant, Ryanair Holdings Plc.

3

3 1.2 The application now before the Court was initiated by a notice of motion dated 23 rd December, 2011, in which both the second and third named defendants sought an order pursuant to Order 29 of the Rules of the Superior Courts 1986 (the Rules) and/or the inherent jurisdiction of the Court requiring sufficient security to be given by the plaintiff for the legal costs of those defendants in the proceedings. In the light of the discontinuance against the third named defendant, the application is being pursued by the second named defendant, which will be referred to as Ryanair, only.

4

4 1.3 The statement of claim was delivered by the plaintiff on 19 th December, 2011, that is to say, before the notice of motion seeking security for costs was issued by Ryanair. It was delivered subsequent to the judgment of the Court (MacMenamin J.) and the order made on foot of that judgment on 4 th November, 2011 refusing an application by the plaintiff for an interlocutory injunction restraining Ryanair and the third named defendant from intimidating, interfering with, or obstructing the plaintiff or the plaintiff's staff in the plaintiff's lawful activity in Dublin Airport as authorised pursuant to the terms of a Licence Agreement entered into between the first named defendant (DAA) and the plaintiff.

5

5 1.4 The factual background to the plaintiff's claim, as pleaded in the statement of claim, is that, following a tender process, in July 2011 the DAA granted the plaintiff a non-exclusive licence "to sell train tickets for all flights bound for London in Terminal 1 and 2 of Dublin Airport" on the terms of the Licence Agreement referred to above. What this means is that the plaintiff claims that it has the right to sell transport tickets, for example, tickets to travel on the Stansted Express from Stansted Airport to London in the "Licensed Area", as defined in the Licence Agreement, at Dublin Airport. In the statement of claim, the plaintiff has outlined the alleged unlawful, illegal and unauthorised activities of Ryanair of which it complains. It is alleged that the plaintiff's staff were "continually harassed, intimidated and obstructed by the servants and/or agents" of Ryanair in the sale of tickets and the lawful exercise of the plaintiff's rights under the Licence Agreement by, inter alia, seeking to divert passengers away from the plaintiff's kiosk, advising passengers not to purchase rail tickets for the Stansted Express from the plaintiff, advising queuing passengers to purchase tickets for the Stansted Express from Ryanair and not from the "kiosk", and sending e-mails to customers containing false, misleading and inaccurate information regarding the sale of Stansted Express rail tickets at Terminal 1 and in relation to the plaintiff. There follows in the statement of claim particulars of "intentional interference with economic interest/contractual relations" presumably of the plaintiff by Ryanair, including preventing passengers gaining access to the plaintiff's kiosk at Terminal 1 and disseminating false, misleading and inaccurate information regarding the plaintiff's pricing of rail tickets for the Stansted Express. It is alleged that those particulars constitute deliberate interference and/or threats to the performance of the terms of the Licence Agreement by the plaintiff by virtue of the unlawful, illegal and unauthorised activity of Ryanair and that the activities constitute deliberate interference and/or threats to the trade and business of the plaintiff by unlawful means. Further, there is set out particulars of alleged injurious falsehood by Ryanair, for example, that without just cause or excuse it deliberately and maliciously disseminated inaccurate, false and misleading information about the plaintiff. It is pleaded that the plaintiff will rely on the facts and circumstances complained of in support of the application of the doctrines of intentional interference with contractual relations and injurious falsehood.

6

6 1.5 The reliefs which the plaintiff claims in the statement of claim against Ryanair are the following:

7

(a) damages for deliberate interference and/or threats to the performance of the Licence Agreement by the illegal, unlawful and unauthorised activity of Ryanair;

8

(b) damages for deliberate interference and/or threats to the trade or business of the plaintiff by the illegal, unlawful and unauthorised activity of Ryanair; and

9

(c) damages for injurious falsehood.

10

7 1.6 In the statement of claim the plaintiff also claims against Ryanair an order in the form of the undertaking already given by the second and third defendants, stipulating that breach of the order would "constitute a contempt of court". The circumstances in which the undertaking was given were that by order of the Court (Clarke J) made on 12 th October, 2011, on foot of an ex parte application by the plaintiff, it was ordered that the second and third defendants were restrained until 14 th October, 2011, or until further order in the meantime, from -

11

(i) handing out flyers or displaying signs or placards which contain inaccurate or misleading information relating to tickets sold by the plaintiff at their Kiosk situate in Terminal 1 Dublin Airport;

12

(ii) physically blocking or preventing passengers from queuing at or gaining access to the plaintiff's Kiosk at Terminal 1 Dublin Airport;

13

(iii) using the tannoy or public address system or otherwise verbally communicating incorrect or false information relating to the plaintiff's ticket sales in Terminal 1 Dublin Airport;

14

(iv) approaching passengers who have purchased tickets from the plaintiff for the purpose of communicating false or inaccurate information in relation to the plaintiff's sale of rail tickets in...

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1 cases
  • Ticket Generator Ltd v Dublin Airport Authority & Others (No 2)
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 24 May 2012
    ...litigation concerning the sale of rail tickers at Dublin Airport, an order for security of costs had been made in an earlier hearing ([2012] IEHC 215). The Court had invited submissions as to whether the security should be fixed at one third of the estimated costs, applying Thalle v Soares ......

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