Irish Examiner View: Compo Culture - The tail is still wagging dog

Irish Examiner View: Compo Culture - The tail is still wagging dog
Post-coronavirus, it is likely that many businesses will face large insurance premiums

It is difficult to discuss the compensation culture that bedevils and drains this society, as any debate eventually focuses on an individual’s decision to go to court — as is their absolute right — and the outcome of that action. 

Yet, because of the negative impact this culture has on so many aspects of our lives, it is unavoidable. 

It is pressing also, as post-coronavirus businesses and clubs will be stretched and eye-watering premiums will make critical situations impossible.

That the Judicial Council’s personal injuries committee has rejected political guidance designed to reduce insurance costs adds to the momentum. 

That committee may insist on its independence but it, like it or not, can be seen as part of the problem. 

That assessment may grate but the process seems another exercise in professional self-regulation — hardly one of our more successful gestures of faith.

This discussion has been active for years, but little has changed. Like all of these issues, following the money highlights the issues in play. 

In recent days, a boy who fell and cut his knee settled an action for €55,000. The judge said the child has been left with a scar and does not now like to wear shorts.

 This is just one of myriad such judgements that seem incomprehensibly generous. This €55,000 for a cut knee did not grow on a magic money tree — neither did the legal teams fees. It will be recovered through insurance premiums. 

The tail is still wagging the dog on this important social issue.

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