Project manager sued for over €5.3m


A PROJECT manager and his company are being sued for more than €5.3 million arising from alleged unauthorised money transfers and overpayments for services connected with a 260-unit housing development in Co Cork.

The proceedings against John J Casey Project Management Ltd (JCPM), Carraig House, West End, Ballincollig, Co Cork, and its principal shareholder, John Casey, Carrigrohane House, Model Farm Road, Cork, were transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

There may also be an application to admit the matter to arbitration, he was told.

The action has been brought by Knocknacullen Ltd, with registered offices at Ballyvolane, Cork, whose directors include Mr Casey; Sean Rainey, Sylvan Bank, Church Road, Blackrock, Cork; Andrew Neave, Belvedere Grove, Wimbledon Village, London; and Paul Duggan, Ferncarrig, Dublin Pike, Cork.

Knocknacullen was incorporated to carry out construction and development works on lands at Knocknacullen, Co Cork, in conjunction with the CDRN Partnership. Mr Casey is a member of that partnership along with Mr Rainey, Mr Neave, Mr Duggan and Paul O’Connor.

It is claimed that Mr Casey was appointed to provide, through JCPM, project management services for the development, with JCPM being appointed as quantity surveyor to the development.

It is alleged Cork City Council had in June 2008 paid some €4.02 million to Knocknacullen Ltd as a stage payment for 20 houses at The Meadows, Knocknacullen, and that sum was paid into the firm’s current account at Allied Irish Banks on July 14th, 2008.

It is alleged, under a written instruction of July 8th, 2008, that the €4.02 million sum was transferred out of that account on July 15th, 2008, into another AIB account in the name of the CDRN Partnership, and then transferred on into a JCPM account.

Knocknacullen Ltd claims neither of those two transfers were authorised by it or the partnership. It is seeking recovery of the monies from JCPM as monies allegedly had been received by JCPM for Knocknacullen Ltd. It is also claiming damages against Mr Casey for alleged breach of his fiduciary duties as a director.

Mr Casey has contended he was entitled to procure the €4.02 million transfer and is entitled to those monies under an alleged agreement of November 2005 concerning a land purchase, referred to as the Kinsale Agreement, it was stated. The other partners in Knocknacullen Ltd dispute this.

It is claimed a further €1.35 million sum is owed as a result of alleged overpayments to JCPM on foot of invoices issued by it to Knocknacullen Ltd.

JCPM, through Mr Casey, had acknowledged it invoiced Knocknacullen Ltd for sums not properly due or owing, but had disputed the sums involved and contended the over-billing arose from a “genuine staffing error”, the plaintiff claims.

Knocknacullen Ltd claims the over-payments were identified by its auditors last year. It claims, despite assertions by Mr Casey to the contrary, there were a number of over-payments and these were part of an “ongoing cycle”. It also claims Mr Casey has made no attempt to repay the money except by “waiving” certain sums allegedly due to him.