High Court to hold remote hearings for routine personal injury cases

Remote Personal Injury Trials will now take place in the High Court as the Level 5 lockdown continues on Covid-19.

Personal Injury List Judge Justice Kevin Cross said today in the four courts that remote hearings are being organized for lawyers for routine cases that need a hearing and cannot be resolved.

The judge said the remote hearings will only take place with the consent of all parties.

Since January, only cases have been allowed to be considered urgent in the High Court, with an emphasis on settling three cases a day to give the parties time to start negotiations and keep the court informed.

The decision to move to remote negotiation was based on concerns that the High Court’s Personal Injury List may be further backlog, as cases that were not resolved that day have been moved to the general list of pending lawsuits.

At the beginning of the blocking of level 5, it was decided that only urgent cases should be allowed.

In January Justice Cross said the courts were open but only urgent cases, usually with life-threatening problems or personal and economic difficulties, could continue.

During the initial lockdown, the backlog of unheard personal injury was 300, but the court reduced that significantly with additional sessions in September.

Among the listed cases are a number of cases related to the CervicalCheck controversy.

One of the cases where a 46-year-old terminally ill mother of four is suing two laboratories and the HSE started in a large courtroom outside the Four Courts complex for allegedly false reporting of her smear tests this week. The woman video-linked her evidence, and the lawyer and attorneys sat at desks two meters apart.

The HSE team, which said they would not question a witness or provide evidence, asked for permission to remotely participate in the case. Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon granted the motion.

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