C: Khürt L. Williams (CC BY-NC 3.0) https://bit.ly/3OytT81

Donegal couple files first Mica lawsuit

A couple from Inishowen in County Donegal has filed Ireland’s first High Court case related to mica defective blocks. It is the first in what is expected to be a series of legal cases related to the mica scandal. 

The couple’s home was allegedly damaged as a result of the blocks containing the destructive mineral. Liam Ó Dochartaigh and Grainne Bean Uí Dhochartaigh, from Malin Head, are now suing the standards body, the quarry and the council. 

They are now seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, negligence and breach of duty, in their action against Cassidy Brothers ­Concrete Products Limited, Donegal County Council and the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).

The Irish Independent reports that the ‘pathfinder’ case will potentially pave the way for a number of cases to be taken by families impacted by the mica defective block scandal. Donegal Live reports that the legal action could lead to up to 200 such cases.

Cassidy Brothers was one of the major suppliers of blocks for homes in the north-west of the country. The Ó Dochartaighs allege that the defective blocks used for their home were supplied by Cassidy Brothers from its quarry at Grasha, close to Buncrana. 

The company has previously said its masonry blocks always met all required standards at point of manufacture, and that it was shocked when damage started to appear in properties. It has maintained that it acted honestly and in good faith at all points in its manufacturing process.

Donegal County Council and the NSAI are involved in the case as co-defendants in their capacity as bodies responsible for the provision and implementation of building product standards.

The couple are being represented in the legal action by Dublin law firm Coleman Legal, which has previously said at least 10 “pathfinder” lawsuits over defective mica blocks are prepared.

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