The Irish Times article published on Wed 30 April 2008:
"The High Court has cleared the way for a former Waterford Crystal worker, who has alleged fraud by the company in the operation of its pension scheme in the 1990s, to proceed with claims that the Irish Pensions Trust (IPT) fraudulently concealed his entitlement to seek a deferred pension when he was made redundant.
The decision has implications for more than 200 similar cases.
Thomas Croke, in long-running proceedings against Waterford Crystal and the IPT. has alleged fraud by Waterford Crystal in the operation ot the company’s pension scheme in the 1990s. He has also alleged the IPT. as trustee of the scheme, had certain duties to him when he was made redundant in 1992 but breached those duties.
Mr Croke alleges the IPT had fraudulently concealed his options under the scheme, including his option of a deferred pension payable at age 65 at two-thirds of his salary He claims the only option put to him was to accept redundancy or reject it and be transferred to other work at Waterford Crystal for significantly lower pay.
In those circumstances, he accepted redundancy and was given a IR£34,000 payment. including repayment of his contributions to the pension fund.
Mr Croke claims the alleged actions of Waterford Crystal and the IPT had led to his sustaining serious financial loss.
In his judgment yesterday on a preliminary issue in the case. Mr Justice George Birmingham rejected the IPT’s application to prevent Mr Croke alleging fraudulent concealment by the IPT as part of his bid to defeat arguments by the IPT that the claim was statute barred and brought outside the legal time limits.
Mr Justice Birmingham ruled Mr Croke was entitled to rely on a provision of the statute of limitations which allows a plaintiff to argue he could not bring his case earlier because he was unaware oi his right of action because of alleged acts of the defendants.
Mr Croke had relied on provisions of the statute which permit actions to be brought outside the normal legal tune limits in circumstances where an alleged fraud is concealed for some time and unknown to the person now alleging fraud.
Mr Croke has alleged the IPT participated in a process which led to him being told m 1992 that redundancy, or alternative lower-paid employment withm Waterford Crystal, was his only option and that it was only later he learned ot his right of action
The complex litigation arises from events in the early 1990s after Mr Croke and hundreds of other workers were made redundant at Waterford Crystal.
He claims he became aware some years later of an alleged fraud in the conduct of the company’s pension scheme.
He and others took proceedings in 1994.
Proceedings taken by some 90 former employees were settled on a confidential basis in 2000. During the conduct of those proceedings, the workeis had secured documents from the company which, they claimed, supported their claims of fraud.
Thomas Croke, in long-running proceedings against Waterford Crystal and the IPT, has alleged fraud by Waterford Crystal in the operation of the company’s pension scheme in the 1990s. He has also alleged"
Sunday Business Post article published on Wed 30 April 2008:
01 May 2008