Company has failed to back up ‘deceit’ claims over pyrite, court told

Irish Asphalt, Lagan Holdings and three Lagan directors want claims struck out

A building company has failed to back up its “most serious” claims of deceit in relation to being supplied with allegedly defective infill product containing excessive pyrite, the High Court has been told.

Irish Asphalt Limited, Lagan Holdings Ltd and three Lagan directors, contend adequate particulars of the claims of deceit made against them by James Elliott Construction Ltd (JEC) have not been provided. They want orders compelling those to be provided or, failing that, for the claims to be struck out.

JEC denies it has failed to provide adequate detail and is opposing the defendants’ pre-trial applications which opened yesterday before Ms Justice Caroline Costello.

James Elliott Construction has sued Irish Asphalt for loss and damage over allegedly deceitfully putting on the market an infill product “not fit for purpose” and containing excessive amounts of reactive pyrite.


Potential claims

Arising from its use, James Elliott said it is being sued by St Canice’s Boys National School and Forest Tosara, and is concerned about potential claims relating to 14 other building projects, including Power City at Coolmine.

It claims Irish Asphalt misrepresented the quality of the product it sold and either knew, or was reckless, whether its representation of the product was true or false.

Alleged deceit

It also alleges Belfast-based Lagan Holdings Ltd and three of its directors –

Kevin Lagan

, Hampton Park, Belfast;

Terry Lagan

, Ulverton Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, and

John Gallagher

, Farmleigh Close, Stillorgan, Co Dublin – are liable over allegedly knowingly procuring the alleged deceit of Irish Asphalt.

The Elliott company is basing its claim on material that emerged from other legal proceedings relating to the use of infill. The cost of the product supplied by Irish Asphalt was €525,582 but the potential value of legal claims against it is “many multiples” of that, it claims.

Lyndon MacCann SC, for the Lagan defendants, said Elliott had made a series of vague allegations and failed to clarify how his clients had allegedly procured Irish Asphalt to supply the pyrite.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times