Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (133)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

133. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 852 of 8 May 2019, the steps a person can take to seek justice in the case of medical negligence dating back a number of years in which the symptoms of the person as a result became more apparent and worse years later, where the case is statute barred and the person cannot avail of justice from the State Claims Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24605/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The current limitation period, in respect of a clinical negligence action, is 2 years from the date of incident giving rise to the claim or the date of knowledge i.e. when the injured person first learnt that his/her injury was related to the clinical negligence event.  

I understand that Part 15 of the Legal Services Regulation Act, 2015, which provides for a pre-action protocol for use in clinical negligence cases, is set to amend the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act, 1991 in respect of clinical negligence actions by increasing the current 2 year limitation period to 3 years. This follows a recommendation made by the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments in 2012 while also being intended to enable potential claimants to engage in the new pre-action protocol process. Preparations for the commencement of Part 15 and the issue of the relevant regulations by the Minister for Justice and Equality are at an advanced stage.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) has a statutory remit to manage personal injury claims, including claims in respect of clinical negligence, on behalf of Delegated State Authorities (DSA’s) including the Health Service Executive. 

As outlined in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 852 of 8 May, 2019, the SCA is not managing this particular case. Where an individual wishes to make a claim for clinical malpractice or negligence, however, they or their solicitor should, in the first instance, submit a letter of claim to the State Claims Agency setting out the particulars of the case.