The Courts and Market Trends
The Court of Appeal give a strong indication in the case of Emma McKeown v Alan Crosby and Mary Vocella, a High Court decision of judge O’Hanlon, as to where the level of damages in personal injuries cases is likely to be once the Judicial Guidelines come into force as anticipated in October of this year.
This Judgement in isolation does not give an accurate view of the attitude of the Court of Appeal but taken in conjunction with various other decisions, points toward a conclusion that the Court of Appeal soft tissue injury awards have been reduced between 35% and 40%.
In addition, the Court signalled that going forward various factors such as fairness and proportionality, and the direct effect on society, will be taken into consideration in assessing awards.
Not for the first time was there a veiled criticism by the Court of the practice of solicitors referring their clients to Consultant Surgeons for medicolegal purposes and a failure by the Plaintiff to put all the medical reports before the court with specific reference to the absence of a report from the Plaintiff’s GP.
The much-anticipated Judicial Guidelines have provoked the view that they will lead to consistency in the level of damages awarded to Plaintiffs.
Adjournment Of Hearings
Solicitors in our practice are advising that a large volume of cases that had been allocated hearing dates in the Dublin Circuit Court are being adjourned by the Presiding Judge on the basis that they will take over 2 hours.
There is concern that this is signalling that the Courts are essentially shut for volume business. We are monitoring the situation carefully and strategically advising our clients on an ongoing basis.
If you enjoyed this article or have any more specific questions, you can contact David Fenton, (Partner, Hayes McGrath LLP) or your usual relationship manager at Hayes McGrath LLP. This guidance document provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.