Press Release

Minister Harris encourages submissions to new expert group considering alternative mechanism to the court process for resolving clinical negligence claims

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD is encouraging all those with views on alternative mechanisms to the court process for resolving clinical negligence claims, to make submissions to the new Expert Group.

The group, chaired by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Charles Meenan, is reviewing the law of torts and the current system for the management of clinical negligence claims. It will provide an interim report after three months and a final report within a six month timeframe from its establishment date.

Minister Simon Harris said “This Group is engaged in very important work, examining how we can deal more sensitively and in a more timely fashion with catastrophic birth injuries, certain vaccine damage claims, and claims where there is no dispute about liability from the outset. I would encourage all those who have views to make submissions to Judge Meenan, who is undertaking this work on behalf of myself and the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan.

“I know that Judge Meenan is keen to examine the system from the perspective of the person who has made the claim and to explore if there is a better way to deal effectively yet more sensitively with certain cases. In this process the Expert Group will also look at the impact of tort legislation on the overall patient safety culture and open disclosure.

“The Group has been set a tight deadline of 6 months in which to report. Behind each clinical negligence case in the courts is a sad and distressing human story. I hope this process being embarked upon by Judge Meenan and his Expert Group will result in a mechanism to improve the current system and ease the legal journey for plaintiffs at a time of stress and trauma in their lives.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editors

Government agreed to the establishment of an Expert Group to review the laws of trots and the current system for the management of clinical negligence claims on 26 June. They also agreed that the Expert Group would be chaired by High Court Judge Justice Charles Meenan.

The terms of reference of the Expert Group are available on our website.

Submissions may be made to ExpertGroup@health.gov.ie on or before Tuesday, 7 August, 2018.