Civil Liability Act 1961


Number 41 of 1961


CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961

REVISED

Updated to 1 October 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Civil Liability Act 1961. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Mental Health (Renewal Orders) Act 2018 (23/2018), enacted 3 October 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017 (Parts 1, 2 and 3) (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 377 of 2018), made 25 September 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 41 of 1961


CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961

REVISED

Updated to 22 November 2017


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Civil Liability Acts 1961 to 2017 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017, s. 1(2)). The Acts in the group are:

Civil Liability Act 1961 (41/1961)

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1964 (17/1964)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), Part 2

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017 (30/2017), Part 2

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1982, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017 (30/2017)

Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 (38/2013)

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 (30/2013)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (23/2011)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Adoption Act 2010 (21/2010)

Defamation Act 2009 (31/2009)

Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (26/2005)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004)

Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 (46/2003)

Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal (Amendment) Act 2002 (21/2002)

Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (13/2002)

Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act 1997 (34/1997)

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1996 (42/1996)

Merchant Shipping (Liability of Shipowners and Others) Act 1996 (35/1996)

Social Welfare Consolidation Act 1996 (7/1996)

Court and Court Officers Act 1995 (31/1995)

Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993 (34/1993)

Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1993 (27/1993)

Liability for Defective Products Act 1991 (28/1991)

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991)

Bankruptcy Act 1988 (27/1988)

Courts Act 1988 (14/1988)

Control of Dogs Act 1986 (32/1986)

Animals Act 1985 (11/1985)

Courts Act 1981 (11/1981)

Malicious Injuries Act 1981 (9/1981)

Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1981 (1/1981)

Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act 1966 (16/1966)

Succession Act 1965 (27/1965)

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1964 (17/1964)

All Acts up to and including Mental Health (Renewal Orders) Act 2018 (23/2018), enacted 3 October 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Civil Liability Act 1961 (Section 49) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 6 of 2014)

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011)

All statutory instruments up to and including Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017 (Parts 1, 2 and 3) (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 377 of 2018), made 25 September 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.


Number 41 of 1961


CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961

REVISED

Updated to 22 November 2017


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and collective citation.

2.

Interpretation generally.

3.

Adaptation of references to repealed Acts.

4.

Savings.

5.

Repeals.

PART II

Survival of Certain Causes of Action on Death

6.

Definition (Part II).

7.

Survival of certain causes of action vested in deceased person.

8.

Survival of certain causes of action subsisting against deceased person.

9.

Time limit in respect of causes of action which survive against estate of deceased person.

10.

Insolvency of estate against which proceedings are maintainable.

PART III

Concurrent Fault

Chapter I Liability of concurrent wrongdoers

11.

Persons who are concurrent wrongdoers.

12.

Extent of liability.

13.

Joinder of defendants.

14.

Judgments to be several.

15.

Judgment by default.

16.

Discharge and estoppel by satisfaction.

17.

Release of, or accord with, one wrongdoer.

18.

Judgment against one wrongdoer.

19.

Judgment in favour of one alleged wrongdoer.

20.

Limitation of actions against one of concurrent wrongdoers.

Chapter II Contribution between concurrent wrongdoers

21.

Contribution in respect of damages.

22.

Contribution claimed by settling tortfeasor.

23.

Enforcement of judgment for contribution.

24.

Contribution in respect of costs.

25.

One wrongdoer omitted from claim for contribution; contribution in respect of contribution.

26.

Contribution where property is restored to its owner.

27.

Procedure for claiming contribution.

28.

Distribution of loss on failure to obtain satisfaction.

29.

Estoppel when contribution is claimed.

30.

Legal incidents of claim for contribution.

31.

Limitation of actions for contribution.

32.

Evidence and appeals.

33.

Contribution to be regarded as damages.

Chapter III Contributory negligence

34.

Apportionment of liability in case of contributory negligence.

35.

Identification.

36.

Set-off of claims.

37.

Estoppel in case of contributory negligence.

38.

Liability of concurrent wrongdoers where plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence.

39.

Bankruptcy of one wrongdoer.

40.

Special findings.

41.

Courts of limited jurisdiction.

42.

Costs in cases of contributory negligence.

Chapter IV General

43.

Application to breaches of strict duty.

44.

One-sided periods of limitation.

45.

Restitution.

46.

Maritime cases.

PART IV

Fatal Injuries

47.

Definitions (Part IV).

48.

Action where death caused by wrongful act, neglect or default.

49.

Damages.

50.

Sums not to be taken into account in assessing damages.

51.

Adaptation of references to Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908.

PART IVA

Liability For Negligence of Good Samaritans, Volunteers and Volunteer Organisations

51A.

Interpretation (Part IVA).

51B.

This Part not applicable to existing causes of action.

51C.

This Part not applicable to motor accidents in public places.

51D.

Protection of good samaritans from liability for negligence.

51E.

Protection of volunteers from liability for negligence.

51F.

Protection additional to any other protection under other law.

51G.

Volunteer organisations and duty of care.

PART IVB

Periodic Payments Orders

51H.

Interpretation (Part IVB).

51I.

Award of damages by periodic payments.

51J.

Security of periodic payments order.

51K.

Alteration of method of payment.

51L.

Indexation of periodic payments.

51M.

Assignment, commutation or charging of right to periodic payments.

51N.

Appeals.

51O.

Application of this Part.

PART V

Amendments of the Workmen’s Compensation Acts, 1934 Tο 1955

52.

Definitions (Part V).

53.

Amendments of section 60 of the Act of 1934.

54.

Amendment of section 61 of the Act of 1934.

PART VI

Amendment of the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1936

55.

Re-enactment, with amendments, of section 18 of the Act of 1936.

PART VII

Miscellaneous

56.

Abolition of last opportunity rule.

57.

Abolition of defences.

58.

Wrongs to unborn child.

59.

Liability of Minister for Finance for negligent use of mechanically propelled vehicle.

60.

Liability of road authority for failure to maintain public road.

61.

Proof of claims for damages or contribution in bankruptcy.

62.

Application of moneys payable under certain policies of insurance.

63.

Costs in certain actions in which the plaintiff is an infant.

SCHEDULE

Enactments Repealed


Acts Referred to

Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1936

1936, No. 40

Statute of Limitations, 1957

1957, No. 6

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1934

1934, No. 9

Irish Bankrupt and Insolvent Act, 1857

1857, c. 60

Adoption Act, 1952

1952, No. 25

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1934

1934, No. 9

Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act, 1953

1953, No. 25


Number 41 of 1961


CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961

REVISED

Updated to 22 November 2017


AN ACT TO REFORM THE LAW RELATING TO CIVIL LIABILITY, PROVIDING IN PARTICULAR FOR THE SURVIVAL OF CAUSES OF ACTION ON DEATH, FOR PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AND CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN CONCURRENT WRONGDOERS AND FOR LIABILITY IN CASES OF CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE, TO PROVIDE FOR DAMAGES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DEPENDANTS OF ANY PERSON FATALLY INJURED BY THE WRONGFUL ACT, NEGLECT OR DEFAULT OF ANOTHER, AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE FOREGOING. [17 th August, 1961.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of Act extended (6.02.1997) by Merchant Shipping (Liability of Shipowners and Others) Act 1996 (35/1996), s. 22, S.I. No. 215 of 1997.

Construction of reference in 1974 Convention to law of the court.

22.The reference to the law of the court in Article 6 of the 1974 Convention shall be construed as a reference to the Civil Liability Act, 1961.

C2

Application of Act extended (1.02.1987) by Control of Dogs Act 1986 (32/1986), s. 21(4), S.I. No. 16 of 1987.

Liability of owner for damage by dog.

21....

(4) ( a) Any damage or injury for which a person is made liable under this section shall be deemed to be attributable to a wrong within the meaning of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, and the provisions of that Act shall apply accordingly.

( b) Sections 11 (2) ( a) and 11 (2) ( b) of the Statute of Limitations, 1957, shall apply to such damage.