Bill allowing payments in cases of catastrophic injury passes all stages in Oireachtas

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has announced that the Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill 2017 has passed all stages in the Oireachtas.

"The Bill, which allows the courts the power to award periodic payments in cases of catastrophic injury, is an extremely important new piece of legislation that will give much needed financial security to persons who have been catastrophically injured and who require lifelong care and assistance," Minister Flanagan said following the passage of the Bill in the Seanad.

"It addresses the concerns raised repeatedly by the courts that the absence of such legislation has meant that the best option for a catastrophically injured person in the form of a periodic payments order has not been available.

"It will ensure that people who have been catastrophically injured will receive the care and assistance they require for the rest of their lives."

The Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to address issues raised by the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments.

The Bill grants courts the power to award damages by way of periodic tax-free payment orders where appropriate having regard to the best interests of the plaintiff and all the circumstances of the case.

In addition, the Bill will ensure that such payments will not be taken into account in the event of bankruptcy.

    The Bill:

  • gives the courts power to award damages by way of periodic payments orders;
  • sets out principles regarding the security of payments of PPOs;
  • provides that PPOs shall be subject to annual indexation;
  • amends the Insurance Act 1964 to provide that the limits on payments from the Insurance Compensation Fund where an insurance company becomes insolvent will not apply in cases involving PPOs;
  • amends the Bankruptcy Act 1988 to protect a claimant's periodic payment award in the event of bankruptcy;
  • amends the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to provide an exemption from income tax in respect of payments made to persons under a PPO; and
  • amends the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 to provide for formal offers of settlement and costs in personal injuries actions involving PPOs

  • makes detailed provision in Part 4, as inserted at Committee Stage in the Seanad, for open disclosure of patient safety incidents.


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