The High Court rejects challenges to guidelines that have reduced the value of personal injury by 40 per cent

The High Court has dismissed a test challenge aimed at overturning personal injury award guidelines.

The guidelines have reduced payouts for such claims by up to 40 percent.

Judge Charles Meenan today dismissed all grounds of challenge, including allegations that the new guidelines were unconstitutional and an interference with the independence of the judiciary.

The ruling has significant implications for the assessment of personal injury claims.

Many similar lawsuits were also filed against the guidelines, and these lawsuits had been awaiting the outcome of the test case.

Test action was taken by Bridget Delaney of Dungarvan in Co Waterford against the State and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

At the heart of the case was a March 2021 vote by the Judiciary Council, the body made up of all the state’s judges, to approve the new guidelines.

PIAB, the government agency that awards personal injuries, and the state had opposed the lawsuit.

In her judicial review process, Ms. Delaney had sought orders overturning the PIAB’s assessment of her claim and the March 2020 decision of the Judiciary Council to enact the new Personal Injury Guidelines.

Mr Judge Meenan dismissed Ms Delaney’s claims that her rights had been violated and he also found that PIAB had acted under the relevant provisions of the PIAB Act 2003 when assessing her claim for personal injury.

He said Ms Delaney’s constitutional rights to property and physical integrity and equality “did not include a right to a specified amount of damages, but a right to have her damages assessed in accordance with established principles of law.”

Applying these principles means that the amount of damage varies over time, he added.

He said there are clear and established principles for awarding general damages.

These principles provided that the amount of damages to be awarded is not only a matter between plaintiff and defendant, but also for society in general.

Economic, social and commercial conditions must be taken into account when setting premiums, he added.

https://www.independent.ie/news/high-court-rejects-challenge-to-guidelines-that-have-seen-the-value-of-personal-injuries-awards-drop-40pc-41715078.html The High Court rejects challenges to guidelines that have reduced the value of personal injury by 40 per cent

Fry Electronics Team

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