Goode case: What happens next
The decision by Mr Justice John Cooke to step back from the Goode Concrete case could result in the reopening of another competition-law action against CRH.
Last July Mr Justice Cooke struck out a case brought against CRH, Kilsaran and Readymix by former rivals Framus, Amantiss and Wilbury, on the basis that the plaintiffs’ delay in prosecuting the action prejudiced the defendants’ right to a fair trial.
Framus and its associated companies, led by Séamus Maye, initiated the action in 1996. They claimed that CRH, Kilsaran and Readymix conspired to abuse their dominant position in the cement and concrete markets to force them out of business between 1993 and 1994.
The defendants have denied these claims .
Framus is set to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court in coming weeks.
However, following yesterday’s events, it is understood that the company is likely to seek to have the issue returned to the High Court and tried again. Last month, Mr Maye gave evidence in an affidavit on behalf of Goode Concrete outlining details of Mr Justice Cooke’s interests in CRH shares.
Earlier this month, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy dismissed a petition by Kilsaran to wind up Goode Concrete. Kilsaran is also a defendant in the Goode competition case.
It was seeking legal costs from an earlier hearing where Goode had failed to get an order banning Kilsaran, CRH and others from selling concrete products below cost.