The High Court has ruled against Fermanagh District Council and awarded a Banbridge company over £3 million following a legal dispute.
Gibson Ltd went to court after an apparent failure by the Council to pay an outstanding invoice of over £2 million.
An Adjudicator found in favour of the local contractor and ordered the council to pay out some £3,034,149.85, which included the initial debt of £2,126,390.29, as well as substantial amounts of VAT, interest and legal fees.
After the initial Adjudication, the decision was disputed by Fermanagh District Council, who took the matter to the Commercial Division of the Queens Bench in the High Court.
The QC for Fermanagh District Council stated that they would resist the judgement on two grounds.
The first ground was that the Adjudicator did not have jurisdiction as a dispute had not crystallised at the date the Notice of Adjudication was issued by the plaintiff. The second was that the procedures adopted by the Adjudicator were in breach of the rules of natural justice.
However, these grounds and the plaintiffs’ arguments were rejected by the Judge, Mr Weatherup. He concluded by stating the original ruling by the Adjudicator was correct and said that Gibson Ltd should be awarded over £3million.
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