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Counterclaim was too vague to justify refusing claim for judgment

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

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High Court rules that the plaintiff is entitled to judgment as against the defendant in the sum of €125,676.38 (together with interest) and that the plaintiff’s application to enter judgment should not be stayed pending a
hearing and determination of the defendant’s counterclaim, on the grounds that: (a) the nature of the counterclaim to be advanced by the defendant was simply too vague; (b) no attempt was made to quantify the monetary loss which the defendant is said to have suffered nor to address the notice period which either side would be required to give to terminate the contract for haulage services; (c) it was not possible on the basis of the affidavit evidence which the defendant has put before the court even to attempt to place a value on the counterclaim; and (d) it would have been inequitable to delay the plaintiff from recovering what is, in effect, an admitted debt.

Summary judgment - application for judgment as against the defendant in the sum of €125,676.38 (together with interest) - the plaintiff claims that this sum is due and owing in respect of goods sold to the defendant - the defendant accepts that he is indebted, in principle, to the plaintiff but resists the application for judgment on the basis that he wishes to pursue a counterclaim in respect of the alleged breach of a (separate) contract for haulage services which had existed between the parties - whether it would be inequitable to allow the plaintiff to enter and execute judgment in advance of the hearing and determination of the counterclaim which the defendant wishes to pursue - the defendant asserted that he has an unliquidated claim for damages arising out of what he says is a breach of the haulage services contract - Court holds that the plaintiff is entitled to judgment.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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