Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Questions (89)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

133 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of cases currently before the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; the number of cases for which rulings have been given since its inception; the number of these cases that have been referred to the Courts for further action or appeal; the number of staff currently employed by the PIAB; the intended number of staff to be employed by the PIAB; the date by which he expects the PIAB to be fully staffed; the date on which a review will be undertaken on staffing levels in the PIAB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18199/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

In all, 19,625 cases have been received by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to date as follows. There are currently 4,886 cases with the PIAB in the 90-day "consent to process" period i.e. PIAB has received a claim and has issued formal notice to the responding party, and is awaiting consent to process from that party. There are a further 4,293 cases in the 9-month statutory assessment process, where the responding party has indicated that liability is not contested and damages are being assessed. The PIAB has made awards in 2,063 cases to date. Authorisations (the Board does not refer cases to the Courts, it issues authorisations to proceed to Court in certain cases after which any decision to proceed to litigation is a matter for the claimant) have been issued in a further 8,383 cases. Some of these will have been resolved since PIAB involvement and others will proceed to the Courts. The PIAB would not be aware of the number of these cases which actually proceed to litigation, although it is believed that a significant proportion are settled outside of the Courts once an authorisation issues from the PIAB.

The Board currently employs 53 staff members. The staffing requirements of the Board will be dependent on the volume of cases coming before the Board. Staffing levels in the PIAB will be kept under continuous review by my Department.