Nursing home operator wins injunction over builder’s VAT bill
Posted on 8th February 2022 at 20:56
Dispute over €735,000 arose only after Revenue determination against builder two years after job
The owner and operator of a Dublin-based nursing home has secured a temporary High Court injunction restraining a building company from seeking to have it wound up over a disputed debt of more than €700,000.
The order was granted to Greenmast Limited on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Mark Sanfey preventing Cappagh Homes Limited from making or presenting any application seeking to have the applicant company wound up.
Seeking the injunction Michael Howard SC, with Stephen Moran for Greenmast, told the court his client runs and owns a nursing home with 85 staff and 82 residents, close to the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Cappagh in Dublin 11.
Counsel said the defendant, which trades under the name Derreen Construction, has threatened to bring a petition to wind up Greenmast over a disputed claim for value added tax (VAT) payments allegedly due for the construction of the nursing home facility.
Greenmast denies that it owes the monies claimed by the defendant.
Counsel said that, in 2014, Greenmast entered a contract with the defendant to buy the lands where the Clearbrook Nursing Home is built. As part of the deal, it was also agreed the defendant would construct the facility. Counsel said that Greenmast settled its account with the defendant in 2018 when it paid Cappagh Homes some €6.18 million.
Greenmast claims that at no stage after that sum was paid did Cappagh Homes issue any fresh invoices or credit notes in relation to any further sums due in respect of VAT or otherwise.
In late 2020, Greenmast said Cappagh Homes, arising out of a determination made against it by the Revenue Commissioners, sought a payment of a substantial six-figure sum from the nursing homeowner.
Liability was disputed but the parties agreed to enter a resolution process, including arbitration. The arbitration process has not been completed.
However, counsel said that, earlier this year, the defendant served his client with a demand that unless more than €735,000 was paid to Cappagh within 21 days, it would present a petition to the High Court seeking to have Greenmast wound up.
Greenmast claims the demand is an abuse of process and is aware the debt is disputed.
Counsel said Greenmast is robustly solvent but is concerned of the effect the petition would have on its business and on its 82 vulnerable residents.
Mr Justice Sanfey said he was satisfied to grant the interim injunction restraining the defendant company from seeking to wind up the applicant company. The matter was adjourned and will return before the court next week.
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