The Civil Liability Act 2004 which was introduced by former Justice Minister Michael McDowell reduced the time limit for victims of medical negligence to sue from three to two years.
There are in excess of 180,000 medical accidents in Ireland every year but less than 1000 patients each year sue for compensation. The State Claims Agency, which defends many of the hospitals and doctors involved in these cases, is constantly using the Statute of Limitations as a Defence to prevent genuine cases being heard in the Courts.
This has led to many injustices as many victims of medical negligence are not able to obtain the necessary liability reports and notes to enable them to properly establish liability against hospitals and doctors who treated them within the strict two year time period.
Liam Moloney, Solicitor said today “this two-year time limitation should be immediately extended to a period of 4 years to enable victims of medical negligence to take their cases without fear of their claims becoming statute barred. These types of cases require far more time to investigate than the cases currently being assessed by the Injuries Board who provide a far longer period”
He added “there are huge injustices being caused to thousands of victims of medical mistakes as many people are not even aware of the strict two year time limit. The Statute of Limitations should be immediately amended by the Government to provide equal access to court for all accident victims. “