Irish developer stranded in US in connection with multi-million euro Liberian insurance claim to have passport returned

Developer Garrett Kelleher
Developer Garrett Kelleher
Garrett Kelleher

A US judge has ordered that the passport of Irish property developer Garrett Kelleher be returned to him.

On August 13 the businessman was ordered to surrender the passport and remain in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania until he had complied with discovery orders in a case connected to a multimillion-dollar insurance claim.

According to court documents, US District Court judge Paul Diamond vacated the orders on Wednesday after being informed Mr Kelleher had substantially completed the discovery directed by the court. The judge instructed the clerk of the court to return the passport to Mr Kelleher, who is best known for his involvement in the stalled Chicago Spire project.

The businessman had been anxious to return to Ireland to deal with a number of pressing matters.

Mr Kelleher had to produce documents and provide a deposition to representatives of Cigna Worldwide Insurance Co, which has been involved in a dispute over unpaid insurance claims arising from the ransacking of warehouses during the Liberian civil war in 1990.

He spent $2.85m (€2.45m) funding litigation in the Cayman Islands against the insurer. The litigation was part of efforts to enforce a Liberian court judgment for $66.5m (€57.3m) against Cigna.

However, this landed him in difficulty with a court in Pennsylvania, which ruled that the Cayman Islands action violated a worldwide anti-suit injunction.

Mr Kelleher says he had no knowledge of the injunction when he funded the Cayman litigation.

Irish Independent

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