Civil Liability Act 1961
Re-enactment, with amendments, of section 18 of the Act of 1936.
55.—The following section shall be substituted for section 18 of the Act of 1936—
“Liability of carrier in the event of the death of a passenger.
18.—(1) (a) In this section—
‘dependant’, in relation to a passenger in respect of whose death a liability is imposed on a carrier by Article 17 of the First Schedule to this Act, means any member of the family of the deceased who suffers injury or mental distress;
‘member of the family’ means wife, husband, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister.
(b) In deducing any relationship for the purposes of this section—
(i) a person adopted under the Adoption Act, 1952, shall be considered the legitimate offspring of the adopter or adopters;
(ii) subject to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, an illegitimate person shall be considered the legitimate offspring of his mother and reputed father;
(iii) a person in loco parentis to another shall be considered the parent of that other.
(2) Any liability to pay damages imposed by Article 17 of the First Schedule to this Act on a carrier in respect of the death of a passenger shall be in substitution for any liability of the carrier in respect of the death of that passenger under any statute (including Part IV of the Civil Liability Act, 1961) or at common law, and the following provisions shall have effect in relation to the action to enforce the liability so imposed—
(a) the liability shall be enforceable for the benefit of the dependants of the passenger;
(b) only one action for damages may be brought in the State against the same person in respect of the death;
(c) the action may be brought by the personal representative of the passenger 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;
(d) the action, by whomsoever brought, shall be for the benefit of all the dependants who are either resident in the State or, not being resident there, express a desire to take the benefit of the action;
(e) the plaintiff shall furnish the defendant with particulars of the persons for whom and on whose behalf the action is brought;
(f) subject to paragraph (n) of this subsection—
(i) the damages shall be the total of such amounts (if any) as the jury or the judge, as the case may be, shall consider proportioned to the injury resulting from the death to each of the dependants, respectively, for whom or on whose behalf the action is brought, and
(ii) subject to paragraph (g) of this subsection, the total of such amounts (if any) as the judge shall consider reasonable compensation for mental distress resulting from the death to each of such dependants;
(g) the total of any amounts awarded by virtue of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (f) of this subsection shall not exceed one thousand pounds;
(h) each amount awarded by virtue of paragraph (f) of this subsection shall be indicated separately in the award;
(i) subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (f) of this subsection shall have effect only in respect of a death occurring within three years after the date of the passing of the Civil Liability Act, 1961;
(j) in addition, damages may be awarded in respect of funeral and other expenses actually incurred by the passenger, the dependants or the personal representative as a result of the accident which caused the death of the passenger;
(k) it shall be sufficient for the defendant in paying money into court in the action to pay it in one sum as damages for all the dependants without apportioning it between them;
(l) the amount recovered in the action shall, after deducting the costs not recovered from the defendant, be divided among the persons entitled in such shares as the jury or the judge, as the case may be, may have determined;
(m) in assessing the damages account shall not be taken of any sum payable on the death of the passenger under any contract of insurance, or of any pension, gratuity or other like benefit payable under statute or otherwise in consequence of the death of the deceased;
(n) the court before which the action is brought may at any stage of the proceedings make such order as appears to the court to be just and equitable in view of the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act limiting the liability of the carrier and of any proceedings which have, or are likely to be, commenced outside the State in respect of the death of the passenger.”