A LEGAL firm that is taking on mica cases in the High Court has appealed to homeowners to seek legal advice before time runs out.
Coleman Legal LLP, a Dublin based solicitors, have more than 200 people signed up to take cases on their behalf. Six of these are lead or pathfinder cases which will be brought before the High Court.
The first of these lead cases is already underway involving Inishowen couple William and Grainne Doherty.
Speaking to the Donegal News Dave Coleman, Partner at Coleman Legal LLB, said time is running out for the people of Donegal.
“Time is running out in our view for people to take legal action and we need to be careful that people who decide not to do something are fully understanding of the facts, their decision and the circumstances and possible consequences of it.”
Mr Coleman explained there are six different lead cases in order to cover the different types of properties in Donegal such as homeowners, holiday homes, rental properties, commercial and agricultural properties and properties affected in the North.
“Our intention is to bring a lead case on behalf of each one. We have already commenced the process with the William and Grainne Doherty case and that is before the High Court. Proceedings have been served and we are moving along with that case,” said Mr Coleman.
“The issues in these lead cases will decide the issues in all the other parties. The value of their case may vary from house to house but the principles will be decided in the main case so people need not worry that they will be dragged into court.
“The second type of case is the follow on case but these proceedings will be held back pending the resolution of the main cases so the courts won’t be tied up with needless repetition and the defendants and ourselves will be fighting only one set of arguments and the decisions that will come from those arguments will bind all.”
Mr Coleman encouraged people to lodge their grant applications as well as taking legal advice and stressed that these are two separate issues. He said a grant application will not be affected by a court case.
“It is very unlikely that there will be any other case taken other than this one now that is being built because the resourcing of the case is massive. We have international and national experts, people have come to lend their support and their knowledge to prove the case. We don’t see that it will be possible to do it a second time,” he said.
“The clock is ticking against every single person in Donegal right now and that hasn’t really been highlighted enough.”
Defective Blocks Ireland, a group set up by businessmen Adrian Sheridan and Shaun Hegarty, are funding High Court action on behalf of families in Donegal affected by mica. DFI has launched an information campaign to make people in the county aware of the High Court case and how they can join.
Information events will take place in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana on Wednesday and Thursday, June 15 and 16 which are open to anyone in Donegal whose properties have been adversely affected by defective concrete products. People do not have to pay any legal fees to join the case and the work is being done on a not-for-profit basis.
Appointments can be arranged by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning Sumedhaa on 01 531 3800.