Civil Liability Act 1961

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

48

48.— (1) Where the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act of another such as would have entitled the party injured, but for his death, to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, the person who would have been so liable shall be liable to an action for damages for the benefit of the dependants of the deceased.

(2) Only one action for damages may be brought against the same person in respect of the death.

(3) The action may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased or, if at the expiration of six months from the death there is no personal representative or no action has been brought by the personal representative, by all or any of the dependants.

(4) The action, by whomsoever brought, shall be for the benefit of all the dependants.

(5) The plaintiff shall furnish the defendant with particulars of the person or persons for whom and on whose behalf the action is brought and of the nature of the claim in respect of which damages are sought to be recovered.

(6) F18 [ ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F18

Repealed (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 6(5), commenced on enactment.

Modifications (not altering text):

C20

Application of section restricted (20.09.2004) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), s. 6, S.I. No. 544 of 2004 and (31.03.2005) by s. 28, S.I. No. 544 of 2004.

Application of Part.

6.—Subject to sections 14(8), 25(4), 26(4), 27(3) and 28(2), a provision of this Part applies only to personal injuries actions brought after the date of the commencement of that provision.

Income undeclared for tax purposes.

28.—(1) In a personal injuries action (other than an action under section 48 of the Act of 1961), any income, profit or gain in respect of which—

( a) the plaintiff is making a claim, and

( b)  (i) a return has not been made before the hearing of the action in accordance with the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 , or

(ii) the plaintiff has not otherwise notified the Revenue Commissioners,

shall, for the purposes of assessing damages, be disregarded by the court, unless the court considers that in all the circumstances it would be unjust to disregard such income, profit or gain.

(2) This section does not apply to causes of action accruing before the commencement of this section.

C21

Application of section modified in certain circumstances (1.06.2004) by Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 (46/2003), s. 35, S.I. No. 252 of 2004.

Approval of court required for certain assessments.

35.—(1) This section applies to a relevant claim where—

( a) a next friend or the committee of a minor or a person of unsound mind is acting on behalf of the minor or person in respect of the claim, or

( b) the claim relates to a proposed action for damages under section 48 of the Act of 1961,

and the next friend, committee or, as the case may be, the person proposing to bring that action for damages accepts, subject to the assessment being approved under this section, the assessment made under section 20 of the relevant claim.

(2) Where any enactment or rule of court requires any settlement of a relevant claim to which this section applies to be approved by the court then that enactment or rule of court shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to the assessment referred to in subsection (1) as if proceedings had been brought in relation to the claim, and the court shall have jurisdiction to approve the assessment accordingly on application in that behalf being made by the next friend, committee or other person referred to in that subsection.

...

C22

Application of section extended (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), ss. 5 and 5A, as amended (20.09.2004) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), s. 7(c) and (d), S.I. No. 544 of 2004.

Extension of limitation period in case of disability.

5. (1) Notwithstanding anything in section 49 (1) (a) of the Principal Act, if, in the case of—

( a) an action of the kind to which section 3 of this Act applies, or

( b) an action under section 48 (1) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961 (being an action where death is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default),

the person having the right to bring the action was under a disability either at the time when that right accrued to him or at the date of his knowledge, the action may be brought at any time before the expiration of [2 ] years from the date when he ceased to be under a disability or died, whichever event first occurred, notwithstanding that the period specified in the said section 3 has expired, but section 49 (1) ( c) of the Principal Act shall apply accordingly.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not affect any case where the right of action first accrued to some person (not under a disability) through whom the person under a disability claims.

[5A.—(1) Where the relevant date in respect of a cause of action falls before the commencement of section 7 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004, an action (being an action to which section 3(1), 4(1), 5(1) or 6(1) of this Act applies) in respect of that cause of action shall not be brought after the expiration of—

( a) 2 years from the said commencement, or

( b) 3 years from the relevant date,

whichever occurs first. ]

C23

Application of section restricted (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 6, commenced on enactment, as amended (20.09.2004) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), s. 7(e), S.I. No. 544 of 2004.

6. (1) An action under section 48 (1) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, shall not be brought after the expiration of [2 ] years from—

( a) the date of death, or

( b) the date of knowledge of the person for whose benefit the action is brought,

whichever is the later.

(2) Where there is more than one person for whose benefit an action under section 48 (1) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, is brought, subsection (1) (b) of this section shall be applied separately to each of them.

(3) If, by virtue of subsection (2) of this section, the action would be outside the time limit applicable by virtue of subsection (1) of this section as regards one or more, but not all, of the persons for whose benefit it is brought, the court shall direct that any person as regards whom the action would be outside that limit shall be excluded from those for whom the action is brought.

...

C24

Appliction of certain provisions affected (1.08.1988) by Courts Act 1988 (14/1988), s. 1, commenced as per s. 6(3).

Abolition of juries in certain actions in High Court.

1. (1) Notwithstanding section 94 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, or any other provision made by or under statute, or any rule of law, an action in the High Court—

( a) claiming damages in respect of personal injuries to a person caused by negligence, nuisance or breach of duty (whether the duty exists by virtue of a contract or a provision made by or under a statute or independently of any such contract or any such provision),

( b) under section 48 of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, or

( c) under section 18 (inserted by the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1965) of the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1936,

or a question of fact or an issue arising in such an action, shall not be tried with a jury.

...

Editorial Notes:

E6

Previous affecting provision: application of subs. (6) restricted (16.12.1991) by Liability for Defective Products Act 1991 (28/1991), s. 7(3), S.I. No. 316 of 1991; subs. (6) repealed as per F-note above.