Compensation culture needs to stop, judge tells court

Judge Michael Coghlan comments after €2,000 settlement for ‘very small injury’

Boy who suffered anxiety after minor accident ‘fully recovered in two weeks’. Photograph: iStock

People need to stop thinking others should be expected to pay after a bad experience, a judge has said.

Judge Michael Coghlan was commenting at a sitting of Dublin District Civil Court on Thursday, where a teenage boy was awarded €2,000 for two weeks’ anxiety suffered following a minor road traffic accident.

“The figure in ordinary circumstances is very small but in this instance the level of injury is very small,” he said. “It is high time people got the idea, if they had a bad experience [they can] expect money from a third party, has to stop.

“One day someone is going to get a sharp lesson; they will find a judge refusing to rule it, notwithstanding an offer.”


The judge was speaking as he approved a settlement in the case of a teenage boy, whose mother sued on the child’s behalf following a minor accident on November 1st, 2017, when he was the rear-seat passenger in a car.

The following day the boy attended his GP. A medical report drafted later stated the teen had “anxiety, mainly concerned with the idea of travelling in a car”.

He fully recovered in two weeks, the judge noted.