A number of recent stories suggesting that members of the legal profession take issue with the findings of the recently published Personal Injuries Commission Report is a cause of concern for ISME.
ISME has made it clear that while it accepts the Commission’s diagnosis of our out-of-control damages regime, we do not agree with the Commission’s suggestion that it is the judiciary which should be tasked with fixing it, via a Judicial Council.
In welcoming the publication of the Commission’s report, the Chief Justice Frank Clarke said that ‘Overly rigid guidelines are as likely to lead to injustice as to improve things.’
It is important that the Chief Justice is aware that no business-owner, motorist, home-owner, school principal, or crèche-operator seeks injustice as a solution to the insurance crisis they find themselves in at present.
It is simply unjust for a crèche to be told that the children they care for will only be indemnified while they are playing indoors. It is unjust when festivals, sports clubs, and charities must desist from fund-raising activities which are absolutely normal in other countries because they cannot afford to indemnify them here. It is unjust when a burglar, apprehended in the act by Gardaí, can sue a store owner for injuries to his scrotum incurred in the commission of the crime. It is unjust when serial professional plaintiffs can withdraw falsified actions before the courts, yet suffer no moral hazard or punishment for the costs they have imposed on innocent defendants.
These injustices should be tackled through legislation.