New Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill 2018 to add further pressure on Government.

In a move certain to heap additional pressure on the Government regarding insurance reform, Deputy Michael McGrath (FF) has this afternoon introduced the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill 2018, a private members bill which provides that where a personal injuries claimant refuses to cooperate with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board by not attending a medical assessment, then if the case subsequently goes to court, the judge shall take this refusal into account and may determine that no costs be awarded in the case.

The Bill also addresses situations where plaintiffs refuse to give PIAB details of special damages being sought and provides for the revision, both upwards and crucially, downwards, of the Book of Quantum every three years. It mirrors reforms promised in the Government’s own Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill which was published in June 2017 but has not been heard of since.

Speaking on the introduction of his Bill, Deputy McGrath stated that the actions coming out of the Government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group so far are “not substantial in nature” and went on to list a litany of meaningful reforms promised by the CIWG that have been either delayed or stalled.

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway said “we fully endorse Deputy McGrath’s bill, and in the absence of the Government’s own PIAB Amendment Bill, which was first published a full year ago, we would ask the Oireachtas to support it.”

The Bill was not opposed and will now move to Second Stage.

This Bill follows up on one introduced by Deputy Billy Kelleher (FF) on the 20th June. The Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2018 provides that where a court dismisses a case on the basis that it is a fraudulent action, the court must refer the matter to the DPP.

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