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Personal Injuries Claims: The State’s gift to the Defendants

How can a defendant harass a plaintiff? By bringing a motion to court. The motion will seek orders within the terms of Section 10. Under Section 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 http://www.bailii.org/ie/legis/num_act/2004/0031.html#partii-sec14 a plaintiff must swear, serve and file an affidavit of verification of the pleadings served. This implies that no insufficiency of pleading, if it exists, can be defended. After all, what was pleaded must be true. Is the plaintiff playing fast and loose with the truth?

The upshot of all of this is clear. Before the plaintiff’s case comes on for trial, the plaintiff will have discharged his/her burden of proof. That burden of proof is not the usual proof on the balance of probabilities. It is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is uniquely the burden of claimants for personal injury. No other plaintiff must reach this standard of proof.

The Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 was, clearly, calculated to benefit the defence interest in personal injury litigation. That it is not even handed is clear.

The consequences are also clear. The motions lists of the High Court and Circuit Court are  burdened with motions citing deficiencies by plaintiffs and seeking orders under Section 10.

More seriously, recognition of the need to settle personal injury cases has receded from the minds of the defendants. That need arises from the fact that modern life injures too many persons to allow them all a day in court. There are not enough judges or courts to meet such a burden.

We now know that some at least of the defence interests could not afford to pay the claims of insured defendants. Section 10 facilitated that irresponsible position and the State is fully responsible for bringing that about.