Having so ratified these conventions, Ireland is, under international law, bound to observe their terms and where required, take positive steps to implement them.
The organisation runs courses and seminars on safety and health at work and has a library of booklets, leaflets and posters.
It is charged with developing safety training for everyone concerned with work in Ireland. In addition it will promote research and studies into the prevention of accidents and disease at work.
That means that injuries from food poisoning, or road accidents caused by the negligence of drivers or mechanics are all suitable to be litigated under the 1995 Act, conditional on those services causing the injury being part of the “obligations under the contract”.
Prior to 2004, for not less than fifty years, plaintiffs were not required to give any further details on the issue of proceedings. The plaintiff was, however, obliged to give the details to the defendant before the trial. It was, (and still is), in the plaintiff’s interest to find out those details and to communicate them to the defendant. Only when the defendant knows these things can the defendant readily agree to settle the claim. Settlement is the best outcome of personal injury litigation; there are insufficient judges to adjudicate on all or most claims for personal injury.
Litigation needs an engine; that is, something must drive the process forwards. For a personal injury victim that engine is, normally, the persistent fact of the injury. From the medical point of view this will imply difficulty coming up with a prognosis. A prognosis is a doctor’s estimate of the progress (or lack of it) expected of the patient.
To be useful, on issuing the proceedings, it is essential that the Statute of Limitations period not have expired. That period, for personal injury, is two years, measured from the date of the cause of action. Generally, there is no difficulty ascertaining the date of the accrual of the cause of action. For a road accident victim, say, it is the date of the accident.
Accidents are confusing. Meeting the unexpected (or just the unwelcome) is disturbing. Many personal injury victims have difficulty orienting themselves after an accident. For some, the difficulties are greater than others. Some accidents are more unexpected than others. Road accidents are relatively common, whereas to be hit by an object falling from a defective building is very unusual.
The main problem with defective DePuy hips is the design failure. The hip will fail mechanically. This is a serious matter. Instead of ease of movement, the hip will hinder movement. Movement will be painful, probably noisy, and anything but smooth.
It is essential to know that the Injuries Board has no role in the DePuy hip scandal. If a victim lodges an application to the Injuries Board, it is a mistake. The Injuries Board will, in due course, reject it. Worse than that, time will continue to run against the plaintiff while the application is being made and considered. In short, it is a waste of valuable and scarce time.