BLM partner calls for change in legal system in clinical negligence cases

18 Oct 2016

Mediation Awareness Week took place last week, highlighting the benefits of mediation and the opportunity it offers to resolve conflict. During the week, mediators from community groups, professional bodies, educational establishments, public bodies and family interest groups gave their time to help the Irish public understand what mediation is and the important role it can play in resolving disputes between individuals, businesses and community organisations.

BLM healthcare partner Nessa O’Roarty contributed to a blog for the Mediation Awareness Week website in which she called for the change of the legal system in cases of clinical negligence.

Nessa said that the immediate introduction of pre-action protocol (PAPs), which has already been allowed for in The Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, would dramatically reduce both the length of time it takes to settle such cases and the associated legal fees.

O’Roarty says, “Clinical negligence cases are inherently emotive and the current length of time it takes to bring cases to a conclusion takes its toll on all parties emotionally as well as leading to high costs. The Irish legal system needs to move now to establish the rules that have been in place in all our neighbouring jurisdictions for many years.”

The current court system, according to O’Roarty, is the major stumbling block to parties having any realistic prospect of engaging in a meaningfully productive way at a relatively early stage. The reasons for this, is that  the court procedures do not require the parties to exchange expert reports until a very late stage in the proceedings, after Notice of Trial has been served and shortly before a Court hearing.

To read the full blog, please click here.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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Nessa O'Roarty

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