Corkman sues Cape Verde firm for €8m

An Corkman and his companies are suing a Cape Verde development firm for €8m for alleged breach of contract and negligent misstatement in relation to the sale of residential units in the tropical islands.

The Clonakilty-born Tom Sheehy, who lives in Lisbon, and his wife own a company called Go2capeverde Ltd which was set up in February 2006 to develop units at the tourist resort of Paradise Beach on the archipelago of islands off West Africa, the High Court heard.

The Cape Verde company brought a pre-trial application seeking the dismissal of a defence to a counter-claim against Mr Sheehy and his firms claiming they had failed to provide adequate disclosure of documents in advance of the full trial. The claims were denied.

Ms Justice Marie Baker ruled there was “deliberate and malicious” withholding of documents by Mr Sheehy and his companies.

As a result, she agreed to strike out Mr Sheehy’s defence, and that of his companies, to the counter-claim brought by the Cape Verde company for what she said was a serious breach of obligations to make discovery of documents.

Ms Justice Baker said Go2capeverde and Mr Sheehy made an agreement with that company, called Paradise Beach Aldemento Turistico Algodoeiro SA, for them to provide construction, promotion, and sale of the units.

A second company, called Balwerk IX LDA, co-owned by Mr Sheehy, was also engaged to discharge some of those obligations to the Paradise Beach company.

A total of 476 units were later sold but, in its counterclaim, the Paradise Beach company says Mr Sheehy and his companies represented that those sales had been at an agreed price of €71.6m when, in truth, the agreed price was €101.1m, the judge said.

Paradise Beach claims Mr Sheehy and his companies failed to remit the full amount and retained an undisclosed sum for their own benefit.

The claims are denied and Go2capeverde, in its action, says Paradise Beach owes it €1.8m for breach of contract and negligent misstatement while Balwerk says it is owed €6.2m in outstanding commissions on sales along with damages.

The judge said some of the documents which came to light could not have been omitted “other than by a deliberate intervention or intention” to conceal.

The case comes back before the judge next week to deal with other pre-trial and costs issues.

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