“Right now the Report changes nothing in that new draft guidelines on general damages are due to be submitted to the Board of the Judicial Council by the 28th October,” said Alliance Director Peter Boland, “But on the other hand it clearly endorses a ‘Plan B’ – the capping of damages by the Oireachtas – if the Judicial Council does not fully reflect the common good in urgently delivering the dramatic reductions in damages for minor injuries necessary if we’re to address our current insurance crisis in any meaningful way”.
This means that the Government does not require a referendum to introduce a cap on personal injury payouts.
Legislation to limit the level of awards for general damages would place a Constitutionally-permitted cap on injury awards.
The Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway and also an Alliance Dirctor Eoin McCambridge, added, “Small businesses, voluntary groups, charities, sports clubs and cultural organisations – the heart of the Irish economy and Irish society – are being seriously damaged by the cost of insurance or in numerous cases, now unable to obtain insurance at all.
“As the Personal Injuries Commission clearly identified, sky-high general damages are at the heart of this issue and must be cut to reflect international norms to ensure that legitimate minor injuries attract modest damages. Policyholders cannot wait any longer for dramatic, meaningful reductions in awards for minor injuries. The Alliance expects general damages for minor injuries to be reduced along the lines of the Fair Book of Quantum published by ISME.”
Responsibility for reviewing guidelines for general damages to replace the official Book of Quantum currently lies with the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee of the Judicial Council which is due to present draft guidelines to the Board of the Judicial Council by the 28th of October. The Alliance has installed a countdown clock on its website counting down to that date.