Doctor liable for debt despite bank official’s comments, judge rules

GP told representations that he was “in the clear” had no legal consequence, High Court rules

A bank official's representations to a doctor at a meeting that he was "in the clear" in relation to a debt before he put €2.2 million on deposit in 2007 had no legal consequences for the bank, the High Court has ruled.

A year later, Ulster Bank used some US$993,000 (€812,000) of the money still on deposit to help pay off the debt.

Dr Neil Healy, from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, claimed the bank, on foot of the earlier representations, was not entitled to do that.

Mr Justice Max Barrett said, while he found Mullingar Ulster Bank relationship manager Alan Leech had made such representations, those did not have the legal consequences contended for by Dr Healy with the result the latter was liable to Promontoria (Aran) Ltd for the debt.


The fund had acquired from Ulster Bank the debt, which was related to a medical practice in which Dr Healy had sold his interest in, he noted.

Dr Healy, a GP who had invested with another doctor to turn a former hospital in Coole, Co Westmeath, into a medical practice, and to build houses on part of the land, had sued Ulster Bank claiming, in appropriating the $993,000 outstanding in his deposit account, it was guilty of unlawfully converting the money for its own use, as well as breach of contract, negligence and deceit.

After the High Court rejected his claims in 2009, he appealed and the Supreme Court later sent the matter back to the High Court for rehearing.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Barrett also rejected his claim and said Promontoria, who by this stage was also a defendant and had counter-claimed against Dr Healy, was entitled to judgment against him.