Cavan-based insulation board company sued the insurer for € 6.5 million

A company that produces underfloor heating panels complains to its insurer for an alleged refusal to reimburse it for claims arising from the reduction of its product.

Ballytherm of Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, says that the value of claims that have already been served to it amounts to more than € 6.5 million and states that it is entitled to compensation, with a limit of € 6.5 million.

It says that it is faced with claims for property damage as a result of the shrinkage which it says is significantly due to a change in a chemical mix that a Dutch company supplied for making the plates.

Ballytherm claims that British insurers / insurers of Brit UW Ltd have wrongly refused to offer compensation under the product liability coverage of its liability insurance for contracts.

On Monday, the case was granted after permission from the judge Robert Haughton to the court of commerce.

The company manufactures rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation boards that are used in the construction of residential and commercial properties.

It makes the plates with a chemical blend that had previously been purchased from the German company Bayer AG and which was then taken over from the Dutch company Covestro BV after a reorganization within the Bayer group.

Declaration under oath

In an affidavit, Ballytherm's director, Brendan Cosgrove, said that the company had been informed in March 2016 of cracking and associated damage in the number of homes owned by a construction company that had used the plates in underfloor heating.

Although it was initially suspected that this was due to an infill product under the insulation, some questions arose about the structural integrity of the plates, he said. Then Ballytherm received a number of similar reports from others who had installed the cards in their properties.

Mr Cosgrove said, after investigations, his company discovered that a change in the chemical composition that Covestro made between November 2014 and February 2016, "a significant factor" in the contraction of the board.

Mr Cosgrove said that only a small proportion of the signs produced during that period seem to show problems.

Ballytherm provided Brit UW with a list of the parties claiming damages, but the insurer refused to provide compensation, he said.

Mr Cosgrove says that the company is entitled to compensation, with a limit of € 6.5 million and that it is essential that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible.

The value of already reported claims is higher than € 6.5 million, he added.

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