Court of Appeal raises award were plaintiff suffered horrific injury

Court of Appeal raises award were plaintiff suffered horrific injury

   . After four recent Court of Appeal decisions on the assessment of damages in personal injuries cases where the court on each occasion lowered awards of damages, one might be tempted to think that the court had indeed recalibrated damages in personal injury cases in Ireland. In Shannon and Shannon v O’Sullivan, the court was asked to accept that it had. In the judgment delivered by Ms Justice Irvine the court did not accept that it had that saying that the decisions had clarified “the principles to be applied and the proper approach to be taken by a trial judge when making an award for damages for personal injuries so as to ensure that the award made is just, equitable and proportionate”.   If proof was at all needed that there had not been a wholesale recalibration, the case of Murphy -v- County Galway Motor Club Limited & Ors, illustrates that the court is not afraid to raise an award of damages where it deems it appropriate.   Damages Lowered   The Court of Appeal in Nolan v Wirenski  reduced a general damages award of €120,000 made by Mr Justice Barr for the plaintiff’s shoulder injury. The award by the trial judge was for €90,000 damages for pain and suffering to the date of trial and €30,000 for pain and suffering in future. The Court of Appeal consisting of Judges Ryan, Irvine and Peart reduced the award for general damages to €65,000 consisting of €50,000 for pain and suffering to date of trial and €15,000 for pain and suffering in the future.       Ms Justice Irvine...
The Court of Appeal denies that its’ recent decisions have recalibrated damages in Personal Injury Actions.

The Court of Appeal denies that its’ recent decisions have recalibrated damages in Personal Injury Actions.

Awards of appeal costs have been made against plaintiff’s whose damages awarded by the High Court were reduced by the Court of Appeal.   Appeal In Anthony and Rita Shannon v Debbie O’Sullivan the Court of Appeal significantly reduced High Court damages awards. The Appeal Court accepted that the Plaintiff’s were entitled to the costs of the High Court proceedings. Costs There was contention regarding the costs of Appeal. During the Appeal the defendant had made Calderbank offers which were not accepted and which were remarkably close to the awards given by the Court of Appeal, each being just above the amount awarded. Defendant case The Defendant contended that as per Ord. 99 r. 1(4) of the Rules of the Superior Courts, costs should follow the event. That being so, it was contended that the defendant’s costs of both appeals should be set off against the orders for costs made in favour of the plaintiffs in the High Court. In addition, Mr. Fox S.C., on the defendant’s behalf relied upon the two letters of offer  in support of his application. These, he submitted, may be taken into account by the court under the provisions of Ord. 99 r. 1A (b) when considering the costs of the appeal. Plaintiff’s case Mr Treacy S.C., for the Plaintiff’s asked the court to note that the Calderbank offers represented 55% of the award made to Rita Shannon and 40% of that made to Anthony Shannon and that the Calderbank offers were less than the amounts which the defendant was required to pay to the plaintiffs as a condition of the stay granted by the trial judge, i.e. €80,000 in the...
Security for costs in Ireland

Security for costs in Ireland

The issue of when a security of costs application should be granted was considered by Mr Justice Barrett in the recent case of Euro Safety and Training Services Limited v FAS [2016] IEHC 161. Section 390 of the Companies Act 1963 provides:- “Where a limited company is plaintiff in any action or other legal proceeding, any judge having jurisdiction in the matter, may, if it appears by credible testimony that there is reason to believe that the company will be unable to pay the costs of the defendant if successful in his defence, require sufficient security to be given for those costs and may stay all proceedings until the security is given.” Section 390 was repealed on 1st June, 2015, through a combination of s.4 and Sch.2, Pt.1 of the Act of 2014, and reg. 3 of the Companies Act 2014 (Commencement) Order 2015. Section 52 of the Act of 2014, the replacement provision for s.390, now provides as follows:“Where a company is plaintiff in any action or other legal proceeding, any judge having jurisdiction in the matter, may, if it appears by credible testimony that there is reason to believe that the company will be unable to pay the costs of the defendant if successful in his or her defence, require security to be given for those costs and may stay all proceedings until the security is given.” Below is an excellent summary of the applicable law given by Mr Justice Barrett. He  references the Connaughton and Oltech cases as the leading cases in the jurisdiction which “when read together, provide a quite comprehensive account of the current...
Can a vehicle owner delivering asphalt to roadworks be exempt from prosecution for exceeding hours driven?

Can a vehicle owner delivering asphalt to roadworks be exempt from prosecution for exceeding hours driven?

  A consultative case stated by Judge Patrick Durcan of Ennis District Court sought clarification from the High Court on whether exemptions that applied to vehicles involved in road maintenance and control applied in the instant case where the owner of the vehicle was prosecuted for allowing a driver of a haulage vehicle to exceed permitted hours of driving without a break.   Offences The accused was charged with two offences as follows:- (a) That you did on the 29th day of August, 2012 being the operator and owner of a motor vehicle registration number 07TN1545 and the employer of Alan Hayes, the driver of the said vehicle did cause or purport to authorise the said driver to contravene the provisions of Article 6(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 561/06 of the 15th of May, 2006 in that the day driving period was exceeded. Contrary to regulation 41(2)(b) of the European Communities (Road Transport) (Working Conditions and Road Safety) Regulations 2008 made under section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 as amended. (b) That you did on the 29th day of August, 2012 being the operator and owner of a motor vehicle registration number 07TN1545 and the employer of Alan Hayes, the driver of the said vehicle did cause or purport to authorise the said driver to fail to take an uninterrupted break of at least forty-five minutes after four and half hours driving in contravention of Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 561/06 of the 15th of May, 2006. Contrary to regulation 41(2)(b) of the European Communities (Road Transport) (Working Conditions and Road Safety) Regulations 2008...
High Court Personal Injury cases in Cork, Limerick and Sligo can be heard in Dublin

High Court Personal Injury cases in Cork, Limerick and Sligo can be heard in Dublin

General Notices: 23rd March 2016 P.I. Direction Practitioners note the recent direction of the President of the High Court that allows personal injury assessment cases that would normally be heard in Cork, Limerick and Sligo to be transferred to Dublin, if both parties consent.  See wording below. Direction 1. I, Peter Kelly, President of the High Court pursuant to the provisions of Order 36, rule 2(c) of the Rules of the Superior Courts (Trial) 2012 (S.I. No. 355 of 2012), hereby direct that the trials of personal injuries cases consisting only of assessments of damages which would, but for this direction, take place at Cork, Limerick and Sligo, shall take place at Dublin, provided that all parties to such cases consent. 2. This direction applies to assessments of damages which have already been set down for trial and those which have yet to be set down. 3. Those cases which have yet to be set down shall continue to be set down for a venue in accordance with Order 36, rule 2(b) of the Rules of the Superior Courts. 4. Applications to transfer appropriate cases to Dublin and for the allocation of a hearing date may be made each Monday in term in the Master’s Court before the Deputy Master at 10.30 a.m. Dated the 23rd day of March, 2016 Peter Kelly, President of the High Court...

Plaintiff who knew that defendant was uninsured fails to recover from MIBI

In Doyle v Lyons and MIBI [2011/2522P] the plaintiff who was injured whilst a passenger in an uninsured car failed to convince the High Court that he did not know that the vehicle was uninsured. The MIBI called evidence from a Garda officer that the first defendant who drove the uninsured vehicle had recently been disqualified from driving for 25 years. The officer gave evidence, that at the sentencing hearing the Plaintiff (Doyle) was present and in fact had jeered as the judge passed sentence. The High Court accepted the evidence of the Garda Officer and held the Plaintiff had in fact known that the first Defendant was uninsured.   Defence Argument The defence of the second defendant put the plaintiff on full proof of all matters, denying negligence and alleged contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff. In particular, it claimed that it was not liable for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff on the following ground:-   “Strictly without prejudice to the foregoing, the second defendant relies upon clause 5.2 of the agreement dated the 31st March, 2004 between the second named defendant and the Minister for Transport and pleads that it bears no liability to the plaintiff in circumstances where, at the time of the accident, he knew or ought to have known that there was in force an approved policy of insurance in respect of the use of the vehicle in which he was travelling then being driven by the first defendant.”   It was accepted by the MIBI that following the decision of the Court of Justice in Commission of the European Communities...
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