Award reduced from €76,000 to €41,000.

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The Court of Appeal has reduced an award for a whiplash injury, noting that high award levels in personal injury cases are affecting the cost of insurance.  In the judgment, one of the appeal court judges said that personal injury litigation “should not be a lottery”.  The claimant was awarded €70,000 in general damages and €6,000 in special damages by a High Court Judge in December 2019, after suffering whiplash following an accident in March 2017.  The award was appealed to the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal said the amount awarded was too high.  The judgment notes: “… it is clear that awards made by the courts have an impact on society as a whole and the courts are mindful of that fact.”  The Court went on to say, “Frequently, the identity of the trial judge would not be known until moments before the case actually commenced, resulting in varying outcomes depending on the ‘draw’. This has the potential for injustice. It cannot be fair to either plaintiff or defendant that the value of their case depends on the identity of the trial judge. Personal injury litigation should not be a lottery and plaintiffs and defendants alike are entitled to reasonable consistency and predictability”.