November 21, 2023
Debt and Asset Recovery Legal Secretary
We are looking for an experienced Legal Secretary to join our busy and friendly Debt and Asset Recovery Team, based in Dublin 2. Responsibilities will include but are not limited...
In a recent decision by Mr Justice Garrett Simons in M. v Health Service Executive (CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019), High Court, Simons J, 18 July 2022, it was confirmed that the High Court can still approve settlements reached by the parties in CervicalCheck Tribunal cases, even in the absence of any court proceedings.
M. v Health Service Executive (CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019) was a fatal injuries case which related to the misreading of the deceased person’s cervical smear screening sample by a laboratory. The claim was brought by the adult dependants of the deceased person.
This was an unusual case as it was brought under the CervicalCheck Tribunal in the absence of any court proceedings and involved a settlement which would otherwise have required approval by the court. The deceased person had four dependents, one of whom was an estranged child for nearly 20 years. There were also five grandchildren, three of whom were under the age of 18.
As highlighted by Mr Justice Garrett Simons, there are two types of settlement which require court approval:
A settlement was reached between the parties as distinct from a CervicalCheck Tribunal award. The settlement would, in the ordinary course of legal proceedings, have required approval by the court. Under the Cervical Check Tribunal Act, there was no provision for dealing with this situation in terms of providing for Tribunal approval, or for court approval where no legal proceedings had issued before the court. The High Court decided that it had jurisdiction to approve the settlement reached given that it fell within the typical type of settlement requiring court approval.
Mr Justice Garrett Simons concluded that the respective interests of the statutory dependants were properly protected and approved the agreement.
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