Kealy v Minister for Health

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Frederick Morris
Judgment Date19 Apr 1999
Neutral Citation1999 WJSC-HC 4118
Docket Number[1998 No. 5 CT]

1999 WJSC-HC 4118

THE HIGH COURT

No 507/1998
KEALY v. MIN FOR HEALTH
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL
PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(9) AND
SECTION 5(15) OF THE HEPATITIS C
COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL ACT 1997

AND

IN THE MATTER OF A CLAIM BY
PAULA KEALY
CLAIMANT

AND

IN THE MATTER OF A HEARING
AND DECISION AND AWARD MADE
BY THE TRIBUNAL AND NOTIFIED TO THE
CLAIMANT PAULA KEALY ABOUT THE
18TH MARCH 1998

AND

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL OF THE
CLAIMANT PAULA KEALY
KEALY v. MIN FOR HEALTH

BETWEEN

PAULA KEALY
APPELLANT

AND

MINISTER FOR HEALTH
RESPONDENT

Citations:

SINNOTT V QUINNSWORTH 1984 ILRM 523

READY V BATES 1983 IR 141

Synopsis

Damages

Personal injury; assessment of damages; appeal from Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal; appellant challenges an award of £150,000 for general damages for personal injuries and £15,000 for special damages; whether caselaw of the Supreme Court mandated a maximum award of £150,000 for personal injuries; whether this caselaw applies to an award of this type.

Held : Appeal allowed in respect of general damages for personal injuries. Award was amended to £265,000.

Kealy v. Minister for Health - High Court : Morris P. - 19/04/99 - [1999] 2 IR 456

The cap on general damages of £150,000 laid down by the Supreme Court does not apply in the present case as there is no general or omnibus figure to be taken into account in assessing whether the overall figure awarded is fair and reasonable. Further, the rate of interest available on investments is lower than it was when the cap was set and the cost of property has also multiplied. The High Court so held in awarding the plaintiff £250,000 in general damages to which £15,000 in out of pocket expenses would be added.

1

Judgment of Mr. Justice Frederick Morris delivered on the 19th day of April 1999

2

This matter comes before the Court by way of an appeal from an award made by the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal which was heard on the 13th March 1998. Under the terms of the award communicated to the Applicant's Solicitors on the 18th March 1998 the Applicant was awarded £165,000 for general damages of which £15,000 were to represent out of pocket expenses. Accordingly the award for general damages for personal injuries was £150,000.

3

The facts of the case are accurately and concisely set out in the award delivered by the Chairperson of the Tribunal and no issue of fact arises. Accordingly it is unnecessary for me to refer to the facts otherwise than to indicate the fundamental facts. The Plaintiff in this case is a married lady who is now 44 years of age. She was married at 17/18 years of age and moved to Kilkenny. Her husband became a milk delivery agent and she worked with him at this job keeping a check on his accounts etc in addition to bringing up her three children. She received an injection of contaminated anti-D in June 1977. She was misdiagnosed for a number of years thereafter and in 1992 was diagnosed as suffering from hepatitis.

4

All this time she had been suffering from a variety of complaints. It was thought that she was over indulging in alcohol and various other causes were attributed to her problems and she recounts how in 1990 she reached the end of her tether with a streptococcal throat which was not responding to treatment. She suffered and has continued to suffer from a variety of complaints. Devastating itchiness and rash, dry eye, dry mouth, joint pains, depression, insomnia, swelling of the fingers and loss of energy being the main problems. She describes how instead of being an active lady assisting her husband in his business she now concentrates her life on attempting to overcome the variety of complaints...

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14 cases
  • Morrissey v Health Service Executive
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 19 March 2020
    ...circumstances, this limit was subsequently revised upwards, to £250,000, by Morris J. in the High Court in Kealy v. Minister for Health [1999] 2 I.R. 456. The limit was also subject to analysis by O'Sullivan J. in the High Court in McEneaney v. Monaghan County Council [2001] IEHC 114, where......
  • B.D. v The Minister for Health and Children
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 19 January 2019
    ...for general damages which exceeds the “cap” amount. Following a review of case authority culminating with Kealy v Minister for Health [1999] 2. I.R. 456, Irvine J. commented on this jurisdiction in J.R. v. Minister for Health and Children (supra) at para 48; having held that the “cap” did ......
  • Woods v Tyrell
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 24 June 2016
    ...v. Neary [2003] 3 I.R. 92; [2004] 1 I.L.R.M. 35. Hay v. O'Grady [1992] 1 I.R. 210; [1992] I.L.R.M. 689. Kealy v. Minister for Health [1999] 2 I.R. 456. Kearney v. McQuillan [2012] IESC 43, [2012] 2 I.L.R.M. 377. Mullen v. Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform [2016] IEHC 295, (Unreport......
  • Gough v Neary & Cronin
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 3 July 2003
    ...15.5.1998 1998/20/7453 ROSSITER V DUN LAOGHAIRE RATHDOWN CO COUNCIL 2001 3 IR 578 FITZGERALD V TREACY 2001 4 IR 405 KEALY V MIN HEALTH 1999 2 IR 456 MCGRATH V BOURNE 1876 IR 10 CL 160 REDDY V BATES 1983 IR 141 SINNOTT V QUINNSWORTH LTD 1984 ILRM 523 STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (AMDT) ACT 19......
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