Law Society of Ireland welcomes publication of Law Reform Commission report on capping of personal injuries damages

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The Law Society of Ireland has welcomed the publication today (Wednesday 30 September 2020) of the Law Reform Commission’s Report on Capping Damages in Personal Injuries Actions.

Law Society President Michele O’Boyle said, “The Law Society welcomes the Law Reform Commission’s independent, legally expert analysis of the issues involved in the question of the Constitutionality of capping personal injury damages.”

In its submission to the Law Reform Commission in early 2020, the Law Society argued that Model 4 was the only option fully compliant with key Constitutional law principles. “I am particularly pleased that the Commission has agreed with the Society in identifying Model 4 as the most Constitutionally robust option for capping damages,” said Ms O’Boyle.

“The Law Society has long held the view that the level of damages for pain and suffering where someone has suffered an injury, through the fault of someone else, is a matter entirely for the courts. The Report’s confirmation today that judicial discretion or leeway must be present in order for a cap to be Constitutional is welcome indeed.”

However, Ms O’Boyle stated there is no evidence that the capping of damages will lead to the lowering of premiums by the insurance industry for their business and personal customers. “Insurance companies have posted huge profits for many years with little or no relief for policy-holders on the cost of premiums.”

“Today’s report is one significant element of the wider State-wide move towards greater consistency and transparency in the realm of insurance and awards for personal injuries. The Law Society looks forward to the Judicial Council’s publication of draft guidelines for damages and we will continue to positively engage with the Government and with State bodies on this important matter,” Ms O’Boyle concluded.

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