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In support of superstition (pro tem.)

To say something is superstitious is to speak relatively. The concise Oxford dictionary provides an inadequate definition of superstition;  “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings: a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, of a practice based on such a belief.” Some people think any belief in supernatural beings is credulous; likewise any belief in supernatural causation. Other people disagree and need not cite religious reasons for […]

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How to read the “news” on medical negligence

According to the Irish Independent, a High Court judge (Judge Irvine) has urged “an overhaul of negligence cases”. The newspaper goes on to report what the judge actually said; that she believes “new protocols and rules of disclosure would lead to early resolution and early admission of liability when justified” [in “medical negligence” cases]. There are two ideas in the judge’s beliefs, both good; that early resolution and early admission of liability are desirable goals, and that new protocols and […]

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Litigation

Science Gallery head

Currently, in the Science Gallery of Trinity College at The Naughton Institute, Pearse St. Dublin 2, two items of interest are to be seen; an invention to assist child birth using gravity (no woman was consulted in the design of this machine) and the application for the patent on the invention. One is a machine and the other is an illustrated description of the machine. The words are more important than the illustrations. They were written by a US patent […]

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Air Travel Accidents

Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 (as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002) requires air carriers in the EU to give the following summary of a passenger’s rights on the air ticket. “Air carrier liability for passengers and their baggage This information notice summarises the liability rules applied by Community air carriers as required by Community legislation and the Montreal Convention. Compensation in the case of death or injury There are no financial limits to the liability for passenger injury or death. […]

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Words, words, words

The new Chinese year, just commenced, is the Year of The Horse. We lost a lot when the horse ceased to be a major source of power and transport. Prior to that, practically everybody personally knew the meaning of phrases like; “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted” or “live, horse, and you will have grass”. We even knew what a cock-horse was. This knowledge shielded us from official obfuscation. No bulletin, however mendacious in its departure from […]

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The Ambulance Service

Medical negligence is somewhat of a specialist area for lawyers. Not every solicitor will firstly recognise a culpable act of commission or omission by a medical person and secondly will know how to create a case that will win in court. The ambulance service, the humblest element of the health care system is the exception to this. When you call for an ambulance, you need it urgently, usually. The despatcher will, usually, elicit the cause or nature of the emergency […]

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The Running of Time

Our legal system contains the idea that time runs. What is meant by this, is that an event triggering a cause of action is the beginning of a window of opportunity to litigate a claim. By implication, the window has an end point as well as a start point. A plaintiff cannot successfully commence litigation until the triggering event (the suffering of a loss, usually) and cannot successfully commence litigation after the expiration of the time allocated by the Statute […]

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The Depuy hip recall US MDL settlement – FAQs

What is the issue? In August 2010, Depuy, a US conglomerate, owned by Johnson & Johnson “recalled” some of its medical products. The recall included the Depuy ASR XL Acetabular System, a type of artificial human hip. These hips are fitted to consumers in the course of major surgery in hospitals. The recall was of the unused products; the used products were in patients. In fact, many of the hips were failing early and the patients were undergoing early, avoidable, […]

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Class Actions

cc Unarmed Civilian

Britain and Ireland share many things, not least the weather. We share an approach to legal proceedings so, possibly, Ireland will follow the UK into a new form of legal proceedings, known as “collective action mechanisms”, “representative court actions“ or “class actions”. The UK experimented with consumer “opt-in” representative court action. That failed; it was used once. Now, the UK is proposing to introduce “opt-out” representative court actions for consumers. If it works for consumers its attractions may spread it […]

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The Actio Popularis, Aarhus Convention and class actions in Ireland

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Ireland currently has a limited form of class action. It is the “actio popularis”. It is not like the US form of class action; it is not of direct benefit to individual members of the public. They get the benefit when they are in the class that benefits from the judgment. They do not simply lodge their claim for compensation, say. The Irish courts have accepted “actio popularis” claims in only one such proceedings; Digital Rights Ireland Ltd. v The […]

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