Ibec calls for swift decisive action on excessive personal injury awards
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today expressed concern about an apparent judicial ambivalence over reform of personal injury awards.
Dr. Neil Walker, Ibec Head of Infrastructure said: “Ibec’s preference has consistently been for the insurance cost crisis facing thousands to be resolved by the Judicial Council swiftly and voluntarily adopting new awards guidance in line with the 2018 report of the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC). We confirmed this in our submission to the Law Reform Commission last year, indicating our willingness to allow a reasonable period for the Council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee to proceed with its work on replacing the current Book of Quantum.
“The Committee’s draft report was circulated for consideration last December. The Council has since had ten weeks to consider it. Ibec has not had sight of the report but we would hope and expect to see reductions of up to 75% in the level of awards across a wide range of minor bodily injuries including soft tissue whiplash. If it turns out that the adopted proposals fall somewhat short of the PIC’s recommendations, we will continue to press for further reductions. But if the shortfall is substantial or – worst case - the amended guidance is rejected altogether, then calls for the ‘second-best’ approach, namely a statutory cap on award levels, could become overwhelming.”