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Author Archives: Edward McGarr

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

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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Smoke and Mirrors

The Minister for Health is planning to restrict the advertising of cigarettes. There are good reasons to think he is not moving fast enough. Read this letter of September last from the Association of Attorney Generals (of the USA) asking the Food and Drug Administration to control the promotion of e-cigarettes. This is reminiscent of the great tobacco litigation of the USA beautifully represented by the Statement of Claim of the Minnesota Attorney General. See the documents in that case […]

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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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Irish Water; tears ahead?

I think “public procurement” is the ruling idea currently in the Irish Water revelations. The company is changing the description of the subject of the contracts which it first said were “consultancy” contracts. Now, it says they are “provision of services” contracts. In either event, those contracts are, clearly, of great value and easily qualify for mandatory use of public procurement procedures. It is illegal to award contracts without using the proper and appropriate public procurement procedures. The Department of […]

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HSE CTIF

The title means “Health Service Executive Clinical Trial Indemnity Form”. In Ireland a clinical trial (which covers the testing of proposed pharmaceutical products) must be approved by an Ethics committee (of a hospital, say) and the Irish Medicines Board. Because of the legal complications of supplying products on which, effectively, no assurances of safety can (or will) be given, it is standard practice for “the Hospital”, “the Authority”, “the Investigator” and “the Sponsor” to sign a Health Service Executive Clinical […]

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Irish Foreign Policy

It would be really nice and reassuring if we could know what Ireland’s foreign policy is on some important matters. Recently, I heard the minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the radio; he asserted he was working very long hours and working hard. He said it was a privilege. I was immediately concerned. The assessment of his work is not his to make; it is ours. He should, instead have reported on the issues, not on his workload. With […]

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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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