6 October 2016
DECISION TO INCREASE PERSONAL INJURIES AWARDS “DAFT AND NONSENSICAL” GIVEN CURRENT CONCERNS ABOUT HIGH INSURANCE COSTS
- BOOK OF QUANTUM AWARDS SHOULD BE CUT NOT INCREASED CLAIMS RETAILER GROUP
- UNDER PRESSURE BUSINESSES APPALLED AT PROSPECT OF HIGHER AWARDS FROM A HUGELY DYSFUNCTIONAL AND BROKEN COURT BASED SYSTEM
- GOVERNMENT SHOULD STOP TINKERING WITH THE SCANDAL OF HIGH PERSONAL INJURIES AWARDS AND COSTS – RADICAL ACTION IS REQUIRED TO SAVE JOBS & LOCAL IRISH BUSINESSES
RGDATA has sharply criticised the decision of the Injuries Board to publish a new Book of Quantum which has increased the level of indicative awards for many minor personal injuries. The trade association that represents the owners of 3,500 local grocery/convenience shops and supermarkets said that the news of the revised Book of Quantum was being greeted with despair by thousands of Irish businesses already under siege from excessive insurance costs and inflated claims.
RGDATA said that Irish businesses and consumers cannot afford the current system for delivering compensation for personal injuries in Ireland and radical reform is needed.
Recent research undertaken among RGDATA members revealed that at least a third had faced a new personal injuries claim last year and that insurance costs for shops have rocketed in the last 12 months.
Tara Buckley of RGDATA commented ;
“ The news that the Book of Quantum has been reviewed and that many categories of awards for minor injuries will be increased is an absolute disaster for the family owned shops and supermarkets that RGDATA represents. They are already reeling from the deluge of claims from a system that is fundamentally broken and needs radical reform.
The publication of the revised Book of Quantum is the latest indication of just how flawed the current system has become. Irish businesses cannot afford the current costs of insurance and claims. RGDATA has members paying €1,000 - €3,000 PER WEEK to insure their shops. This is completely unsustainable and is putting jobs and award winning businesses at risk. Already shops have closed due to high insurance costs. This is not the time for tinkering about the edges – we need radical reforms as matter of urgency
This is impacting on everyone who buys insurance – whether its for your home, your car or your business. We cannot sustain 30 – 40% premium increases on an annual basis. That’s what we are facing unless our policymakers take radical action.”
RGDATA has submitted proposals for radical reform to the Government involving;
- Taking the lawyers out of the picture by empowering an independent body to determine liability and quantum on general PI negligence claims (occupiers liability, public liability, employers and motor cases).
- Reviewing the Book of Quantum and reducing award levels by 50 % based on international precedents – Irish consumers and businesses just cannot afford the level of compensation in the revised Book of Quantum.
- General damages should be capped
- There should be an appeal from a decision of the Injuries Board only on a point of law.
“The Government needs to get real on this issue and recognise that the current system of awarding compensation for personal injuries claims is broken beyond repair. The system needs to be radically reformed as Society is effectively funding a scheme which is too costly, too unpredictable and ultimately damaging employment, living costs and investment in our community.
“This is the number one issue for thousands of Irish businesses, which will be despairing at the latest announcement to increase and not reduce the high level of personal injury awards in Ireland.”
Note: Letter issued to Minister Eoghan Murphy - Click here
For further information/interview with Tara Buckley contact:
Kathleen Cahill, Communications Manager, RGDATA
Direct Line: 01-2887584/ M: 087-6989191