AIB accused in Commercial Court of picking sample cases that are not representative of investors

Lawyers for 273 people suing over losses suffered on investments in property funds promoted by AIB have argued the bank’s selection of sample cases to be fast-tracked at the Commercial Court is not representative of the investors.
AIB accused in Commercial Court of picking sample cases that are not representative of investors

AIB “cherry-picked” seven sample cases, involving claims by a partner in accountancy firm PwC, a senior counsel, an accountant, a solicitor, two former AIB employees, and a successful retired businesswoman, said Tom Casey, solicitor for a large number of investors.

The AIB selection has a “consistent high level of sophistication and experience which is not representative of the investors as a whole”, he said.

One of the seven sample cases chosen by AIB is not proceeding, he noted.

Mr Casey said his side had identified other sample plaintiff investors whose individual claims and factual circumstances encompass issues which may not arise in the AIB sample.

He said “commonly observed” failures in relation to the investments include alleged failures relating to the selling process concerning the investments, alleged misrepresentation of the characteristics of the investment product, and alleged failure to ensure products suited the investor in light of factors including their investment experience.

The nominee cases, chosen by the plaintiffs’ side, include one by a 65-year-old woman whose husband had, allegedly on advice from AIB, invested €150,000 at a time in 2003 when he was terminally ill and “heavily medicated”, it was claimed in court documents.

The man died a month after the investment was made.

Martin Hayden, for AIB, argued it had been given no proper information or explanation concerning how the plaintiff nominee cases had been selected.

His side was unclear how there could be two representative cases when the proceedings related to five different funds all with different structures, he said.

Mr Justice McGovern said he considered there was sufficient information to allow for the nominee cases selected by the plaintiffs be admitted to the Commercial Court.

He put the matter back for two weeks.

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