By Ann O'Loughlin
Fresh proceedings involving businessman Larry Goodman and US-based Dr Joseph Sheehan who are "at loggerheads" over the management and direction of a Galway-based private medical clinic have been admitted to the fast track commercial Court list.
Blackrock Medical Partners (BMP) Ltd, which is controlled by Dr Sheehan, has brought proceedings against Marpole Ltd, the beneficial owner of Galway Clinic Doughiska, and Marpole's majority shareholder Parma Investments Ltd, which is an entity associated with Mr Goodman.
Blackrock Medical Partners owns 25% of Marpole.
Companies linked to Mr Goodman and Dr Sheehan have been in dispute over shareholder's agreements in respect of both the clinic in Galway and the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin for some time.
In this latest action, which relates to the Galway facility only, BMP claims Parma has orchestrated a campaign of oppressive and abusive behaviour towards Blackrock Medical Partners.
As a result, BMP seeks a declaration from the Court that the affairs of Marpole Ltd and the powers of its directors are being exercised in a manner that is oppressive to BMP.
BMP also seeks various orders including that Parma either buy BMP's shares in Marpole, or Parma sells its shareholding to BMP.
The action differs to other proceedings currently before the courts between the parties over alleged oppressive behaviour.
The latest action differs from the other proceedings in that it contemplates a buy-out by one shareholder or the other in Marpole rather than a continuation of the existing arrangement between the parties BMP claims.
BMP says the cessation of their agreement is now preferable to its continuation which it says could lead to even more proceedings between the parties.
BMP also seeks an order consolidating this action with the two other cases which would likely save court time.
The case was admitted to the fast track commercial court list by Mr Justice Brian McGovern today. The Judge, who noted related proceedings are currently before the courts, said that the parties should consider having the dispute mediated.
The Judge said the parties involved had been involved in a partnership and in such circumstances, it would be better for all sides if they went to mediation.
In a sworn statement Dr Sheehan said that he was prepared to engage in further mediation efforts in an attempt to resolve all issues between the sides.
There was no object to the case being admitted to the list, and the matter is due back before the court later this month.