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Seven-judge personal injury assessment panel to form over summer

11 Jun 2019 / legislation Print

Seven-judge personal injury assessment panel to form

A seven-judge panel will recalibrate personal injury awards under proposals that justice minister Charlie Flanagan will bring to Cabinet today.

There will be a representative judge from each court level, from District to Supreme Court in a committee to be formed over the summer months.

If the proposed amendments to the Judicial Council Bill are approved, it will come before the Seanad next week and delays are not expected.

A new book of quantum on pay-out levels is expected before the end of the year and payments levels will be subject to review every three years.

Motion

Minister of State Michael D'Arcy, who has oversight of insurance, has applied for an 'early signature motion' to fast-track the new bill into law.

Fianna Fáil  has committed to voting through the bill.

"We support the thrust of this bill," FF spokesman Michael McGrath (pictured) said.

The Oireachtas Business Committee has pushed a Fianna Fáil bill to tackle fraudulent or exaggerated claims through to the pre-legislative scrutiny stage.

The Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019 can now go straight to Dáil committee stage.

It introduces stronger penalties for false testimony in court. Anyone who is found to have exaggerated their injuries will have to pay the defendant’s legal expenses.

The bill also increases District Court fines to €5,000.

Sponsor Michael McGrath said "For people perpetrating insurance fraud, there seems to be no downside or deterrent. At the moment the worst that can happen is that the case is simply thrown out.

"The defendant is often stuck with large legal expenses defending themselves against a fraudulent claim."

 

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