A former operations manager of taxi and courier firm Pony Express has been refused permission by the High Court to continue the case against Michael Smurfit Jr.
r Smurfit invested in Pony Express in 2006, in which a firm controlled by him took 25pc.
The manager, Stephen McCann, claimed that Mr Smurfit encouraged him to remain at Pony Express when he indicated in 2008 that he was preparing to leave Pony Express to join a competitor. Offered in increments and equivalent to 10 pcs of value. of the company and 10pc of the annual profit, to be paid on the sale of the business.
Mr McCann claimed that Pony Express was sold in July 2009, but he was not aware of the valuation imposed on the business.
The company’s filings for Pony Express show that a company called Prideview Investments acquired an exclusive share in Pony Express in mid-2009. Prideview is controlled by Ray Moore and Alan Buttimer, who now fully own Pony Express. Prideview’s accounts show that between July 2009 and the end of 2010, Mr Moore and Mr Buttimer provided a total of €29.8m in director loans to Prideview.
Mr McCann alleged that upon the sale of the Pony Express business in 2009, he became entitled to his share of the company and profits, but despite several such demands from Mr. Smurfit, he did not receive any income and Mr. Smurfitt refused to pay. refused. ,
Mr. Smurfit denied that Mr. McCann was ever offered a stake in the business or a share of profits.
Mr. McCann left the business in the summer of 2009, and began asserting his claim to income from sales and profits in early 2010. The High Court noted that the case against Mr Smurfit was revived in January 2020 and a motion to dismiss the claim before the court was made in June 2021.
In March of that year, Mr. Smurfit’s attorney wrote to Mr. McCann’s lawyer.
“He insisted that there was considerable delay in the proceedings by the plaintiff; that it was after 13 years from the date of accrual of the alleged cause of action on the basis of the said oral agreement,” the court heard.
Mr. Smurfit’s lawyer suggested that Mr. McCann wanted to attend a swearing-in match that would not be heard until at least 15 years after the alleged incidents. Mr McCann was asked to withdraw or close the action within seven days, failing which an application would be made for prosecution and its termination due to excessive and unforgivable delays.
Mr McCann’s lawyer responded that his client would not withdraw his action.
But the High Court has stayed the proceeding.
“It is acknowledged that there has been an inordinate delay in the prosecution of this action,” Justice Sanon Allen said. “For the reasons given, I am satisfied that the delay was unforgivable and guilty. It would be an injustice, without further ado, that the defendant should be compelled to face litigation, the speed of which is the plaintiff’s ability to prosecute by the plaintiff.” has been determined by increasing and decreasing interest.