IRL Damages and the Book of Quantum. The Courts approach.

Damages and The Book of Quantum

Section 22 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 provided that in assessing the level of damages to be awarded the Court was to have regard for The Book of Quantum.

Section 22 is entitled “Matters to be taken into account by the Court when assessing damages.”

It provides:

(1) The Court shall, in assessing damages in a personal injuries action, have regard to The Book of Quantum.

(2) Sub Section (1) shall not operate to prohibit a Court from having regard to matters other than The Book of Quantum when assessing damages in a personal injuries action.

(3) In this section “Book of Quantum” means the Book of Quantum required to be prepared and published by The Personal Injuries Assessment Board under the Act of 2003.

Notwithstanding the provision of Section 22, one notes that from a negotiation
Perspective, it is hardly referenced when attempting to settle cases and further it is
extraordinarily broad in its sweep of categories and of awards per injuries making it
difficult to follow.

One case of interest in this area is that of O’Brien .v. Derwin and Other [2009]

In the case Judge Charleton rejected the notion that The Injuries Board Book of Quantum was out dated, where the plaintiff representatives tried to assert that inflation should apply to the Book of Quantum. Charleton J went further and noted the prevailing economic circumstances and suggested that those circumstances may indeed have a deflationary affect upon compensation figures.

The obvious difficulty with the Book of Quantum is that it is broad and sweeping and this was brought to focus in the case of Allen .v. Trabolgen Holiday Centre Limited [2010] IEHC 129 again, Charleton J. was the Judge. In this case he felt that the ankle injury was more significant than what identified at a certain level in the Book of Quantum and yet less significant than the one just above that.