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12 January 2010

InjuriesBoard.ie Statement on High Court Outcome of Judicial Reviews

High Court dismisses 19 judicial reviews against Injuries Board

Board flags €2,000 potential savings for direct claimants

The High Court today (Friday, 12 November) dismissed nineteen Judicial Reviews against the Injuries Board.  The challenges all sought to have legal costs included in compensation awards for personal injuries.  The dismissals follow a recent judgment* in the High Court by Justice Ryan on 18 October in two similar “lead” cases. That judgment will not now be appealed to the Supreme Court.

In all twenty one cases, the claimants had accepted the Board’s award for damages but had challenged its refusal to allow all the legal costs claimed by their solicitor, Maguire McClafferty.

Welcoming the move, InjuriesBoard.ie, Chief Executive, Patricia Byron said:

Today’s decision is a landmark day for the Board.  It brings to an end a sustained series of challenges to the Board’s response to demands to include all legal fees when assessing compensation for claimants.The clarification provided by the conclusion of these cases highlights the benefits for claimants of applying directly to the Board”.

The application fee is €50 and can be made by post or online at www.piab.ie.The Board’s Service centre (Lo call 1890 829 121) is open from 8am to 8pm.  By making their application directly to the Board, claimants can save significant legal fees, typically in the region of €2,000 but sometimes as high as €5,000.

*Background: In his judgment on 18 October Justice Ryan found that the Board acted reasonably at all times and complied with fair procedures.  Among the reasons put forward for paying the fees sought were that the claimants did not have Law Degrees or were not a qualified Barrister or Solicitor.  Justice Ryan said that “a person does not need to have detailed information about the legal system in order to make a claim to the Board”.

Justice Ryan said that the claims were “straightforward and were the kind of claims intended to be dealt with by the Board and thereby diverted from the courts’ burgeoning caseloads”. 

Ends Friday 12 November 2010