Woman settles High Court action against Charles Flanagan

Galway woman had sued her former solicitor, now Fine Gael TD, over alleged professional negligence

Charles Flanagan: he and his firm rejected all the woman’s claims, including negligence and breach of contract, and argued Ms Rigney Murray was not entitled to damages. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Charles Flanagan: he and his firm rejected all the woman’s claims, including negligence and breach of contract, and argued Ms Rigney Murray was not entitled to damages. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 06:00

A Co Galway woman who sued her former solicitor, now Fine Gael TD Charles Flanagan, over alleged professional negligence has settled her High Court action on undisclosed terms.

Mary Rigney Murray had sued over the handling in 2003 by Mr Flanagan and his firm Bolger White, Egan & Flanagan Solicitors, Lismard Court, Fintan Lawlor Avenue, Portlaoise, Co Laois, of an action against her employer, the HSE.

In her claim alleging negligence and breach of contract, she alleged the defendants failed to prosecute her claim within the required time limits and allowed it to become statute barred. She also alleged Mr Flanagan, without her consent, had entered into talks aimed at halting her action with the HSE.

Mr Flanagan and his firm rejected all the claims, including negligence and breach of contract, and argued Ms Rigney Murray was not entitled to damages.

Yesterday, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, was told the action had been resolved. No details were revealed. Solicitor Caoimhe Haughey, for Ms Rigney Murray, said the agreement was confidential.

In her action, Ms Rigney Murray, Lenamore, Clonfert, Ballinasloe, alleged she had in October 2003 retained the defendants for an action against her employer, the HSE.

She wanted to sue the HSE because, she claimed, between June 2002 and September/October 2002, she was subjected to bullying, harassment and intimidation at her workplace resulting in her suffering personal injuries, loss, damage and expense.

She claimed Mr Flanagan and the firm failed to prosecute her claim expeditiously and delayed unreasonably and without just cause. They failed to institute proceedings within the relevant limitation period and caused her claim against the HSE to become statute-barred, she claimed.

She also claimed that Mr Flanagan and the firm failed to act on her instructions and failed to warn her that her claim was expiring. She further alleged that in April 2006, Mr Flanagan met a senior HSE official and lawyers representing that body.

In a defence on behalf of Mr Flanagan and the firm, all the claims were denied.