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    In the Supreme case of Molly v Reid [2014] IESC 4 Rec. No. 2006 1729 P delivered on the 29 January 2014  the Supreme Court upheld the decision of High Court (Ryan J) that the plaintiff’s personal injuries claim was not statute barred, finding that the correct interpretation of the phrase “issued to” for the purpose of calculating the stoppage of time from the granting of an Authorisation to bring such proceedings is the date when such Authorisation is actually or is deemed to have been received by the claimant, and not the date of posting.

    The PIAB Act


    Injuries Board

    This case concerned the changes which were brought about in relation to the compensation . It is usually three years for personal injury cases in Northern Ireland and two years for personal injury cases in the Republic of Ireland and six years for other claims. After this time, you are very unlikely to be able to make a claim, although there are exceptions to this. Your solicitor will advise you about the limitation period that applies in your particular case. This is a good reason for seeing a solicitor as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation.</p> ">limitation period for personal injury actions by virtue of the introduction of the Personal Injury Assessment Board (“PIAB”), now known as the Injuries Board. Personal injury claims go to PIAB for assessment. A claimant is not entitled to bring court proceedings unless and until their claim has been through the PIAB system and the claimant has been authorised to bring a case to court because the case has not resolved through the PIAB system.

    Section 50 of the PIAB Act requires that the period between the making of an application to PIAB and six months from “the date of issue of an authorisation” under the PIAB Act is to be disregarded for the purposes of calculating the relevant limitation period. This case turned solely on the question of when it could be said that there had been an “issue of an Authorisation” for those purposes.

    The Decision of Ryan J. in the High Court
    This matter was considered by Ryan J. in the High Court who delivered judgment on the 18th January, 2013 (Molloy v. Reid [2013] IEHC 77). Ryan J. concluded that the relevant date was that of presumed receipt in ordinary course of post and not the date when the relevant authorisation was actually put in the post. Mr. Reid appealed to the Supreme Court against that finding.

    Mr. Reid did not consent to the making of an assessment by PIAB and, thus, a certificate pursuant to s. 14 was posted to Mr. Molloy on the 22nd September, 2005, authorising the initiation of court proceedings. Mr. Molloy mislaid the relevant authorisation when it arrived and a copy authorisation was furnished which erroneously stated that the time limit would continue to be suspended for six months from the 26th October, 2005, i.e. the date of the issue of the copy authorisation.

    The issue of Proceedings

    Four Courts, Dublin

    High Court, Dublin

    On the 20th April, 2006, these proceedings were issued. If “the date of issue of an authorisation” was determined to be the day of posting of the s. 14 Authorisation, then the 20th April, 2006, would be the first day after the limitation period has expired. Thus, the claim would be statute barred. However, if time did not begin to run again until the letter would have arrived in the ordinary course of post, or be deemed to have been received, then the proceedings would have been issued within the time allowed and Mr. Molloy could continue with these proceedings.

    The Judge was satisfied that the proper construction of the PIAB Act, taken as a whole, is such that the date of an Authorisation, for the purposes of s. 50, is, in a case where the document is issued to an individual by registered post under s. 79, the date on which that person would have received the document in the ordinary course of post. It followed that the claim in this case was not, therefore, statute barred, and that Ryan J. was correct in so holding. On that basis the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.