Systematic flaws within the public liability must be addressed.
Arbitrary decisions are damaging industry.
ISME has called on the Government to address the endemic flaws in Ireland’s public liability system. Last week’s decision by the High Court to overturn a €40,000 ‘negligence’ pay-out by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) highlights the need to amend the arbitrary decision-making procedures within the Courts Service, and the need to introduce statutory measures.
Commenting on the case, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said “Concern must be raised when we see such a fundamental difference between the High Court and the Circuit Court on how the issue of negligence was decided in a relatively straight-forward case.”
“Aside from the quantum awarded by the Circuit Court, which ISME considered wholly inappropriate; the High Court’s radically different interpretation of the duty of care to that adjudicated by the Circuit Court, highlights the capricious and whimsical decision-making on issues of negligence.”
ISME calls on the Government to;
Introduce rehabilitation as the first order of restitution by defendants.
Implement the overhauls to the legal profession required under the EU/IMF program.
Codify an offence of perjury into Irish law (NB: this was not an issue in the NPWS case).
Consider the validity of the Book of Quantum (BOQ).
Reduce the time limits permitted to submit claims under the Statute of Limitations.
Legislate for the establishment of an independent expert panel from which diagnostic reports must be obtained prior to assessment by PIAB.
“We are fortunate that this case involved a state agency with deep pockets to fund the appeal to the High Court. Had such a case been left to a private individual or a small firm to appeal, we might be looking at a different outcome today. While we welcome the High Court’s decision, it reinforces the need to introduce statutory measures to regulate this grey area” concluded McDonnell