Written answers

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin Fingal, Independent)
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133. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a judgment (details supplied) of the European Court of Justice; and if he will direct the State Claims Agency to cease its defence of cases for damage by a drug on the basis of that judgment. [22944/18]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The question refers to a Judgement given by the European Court of Justice and I cannot speculate on its possible relevance to litigation in Ireland.

I cannot comment on individual cases or matters that are the subject of litigation but I can provide background information on this litigation and clarify matters that are already in the public domain.

As of 9 May 2018, legal proceedings against the Minister, the Health Services Executive and GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA have been initiated by seventy individuals.  The plaintiffs allege personal injury in which they claim the development of narcolepsy resulted from the administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine.  The management of the cases transferred to the State Claims Agency (SCA) on 15 October 2013 when the Taoiseach signed the National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Claims Management Functions) (Amendment) Order 2013.  This reflects the greater experience and expertise that the State Claims Agency has in the area of medical litigation.  

I have been informed by the Agency that the cases are before the courts in relation to the management of discovery in the lead case.  It would not be appropriate to interfere in the courts case management of these claims.

I am continuing to engage with the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Finance on what further improvements can be made to the legal framework governing the management of medical negligence cases.


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