FBD withdraws court challenge to ombudsman’s investigation
Posted on 18th February 2021 at 20:19
FBD’s High Court challenge over the investigation by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman of a publican’s complaint over the insurer’s refusal to pay out for a business interruption claim due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been withdrawn.
Last year FBD Insurance Plc secured permission from the High Court to seek to have the Ombudsman’s investigation of a complaint made by Phil Flannery’s of Denmark Street Ltd judicially reviewed.
The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Charles Meenan, at Thursday’s sitting of the High Court. The judge was told that the FBD case was being withdrawn and could be struck out.
The court also heard that FBD would be making contributions to the notice party and the ombudsman’s costs.
The insurer had claimed the probe should be halted on grounds including that the same issue is the subject of separate High Court proceedings brought by pubs against the insurer, which earlier this month was determined in the pub’s favour.
In its action FBD had claimed the investigation should be discontinued because four test cases raise the same issues that were the subject of Phil Flannery’s complaint.
The courts were a more appropriate forum to determine the dispute, FBD argued.
FBD voiced a concern that it would have to deal with the same issue at multiple fora.
This needless duplication would result in it incurring additional legal costs.
FBD further claimed that the Ombudsman’s decision to continue with its investigation also breached fair procedures.
As a result, it sought various orders from the court, including one quashing the decision to investigate the complaint. It also seeks declarations including that the Ombudsman lacks jurisdiction to investigate the complaint.
As well as seeking an order halting the investigation FBD also seeks an order staying the probe pending the outcome of the dispute.
Lawyers for the Ombudsman previously told the court it would vigorously oppose what it said was an entirely unprecedented challenge to his client’s jurisdiction to investigate a complaint made against the provider of a financial services.
Lawyers for Phil Flannery’s, which was a notice party to the proceedings, said it was also opposed to FBD’s action.
Share this post: