No-fault compensation system needed, says Labour


The need for a no-fault compensation system has been highlighted by yesterday's Supreme Court decision to award costs against a Cork couple who took an unsuccessful case against a hospital on behalf of their disabled son, the Labour Party said yesterday. The party's health spokeswoman, Ms Liz McManus, said it was appalling that John and Ann O'Mahony should face financial ruin.

"Ian O'Mahony suffers from a severe physical and mental disability and it is understandable that his parents should have sought compensation on his behalf. But there should be some system of no-fault compensation for dealing with such cases and families seeking the best for their children should not have to expose themselves to such financial risk," she said.

"Obstetricians are facing insurance premiums of close to £400,000 per annum and given that the courts can make very large awards, hospitals are forced on to the defensive and have to deny liability even where they may have been at fault," said Ms McManus. "For those taking cases it can be something of a lottery where parents can either secure huge awards where they win or face financial disaster if they lose, especially as there is not normally legal aid available."