The Supreme Court has asked the European Court of Justice to decide key issues to establish liability for compensation paid out to a woman injured in a road incident.

The ECJ ruling will have implications for dozens of other cases.

The issue arises following a previous determination by the ECJ that Ireland had failed to properly transpose into national law, and within time, the provisions of a 1990 directive – the Third Directive – requiring that all passengers in motor vehicles should be covered by the insurance of the driver of that vehicle.

The decision of the ECJ on the latest issue referred to it will ultimately determine whether the State or the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is liable for compensation which it was agreed should be paid to a woman injured in January 1996 when a van in which she was a rear seat passenger crashed into a wall.

Not disclosed

The amount of compensation paid has not been disclosed, the Supreme Court noted.

While it was accepted the incident was the fault of the van driver, he was not insured for injury to the woman in circumstances where, in Ireland in 1996, drivers were not obliged to insure against injury to passengers who were seated, as the woman was, on the floor of a van not fitted with seats, Mr Justice Peter Charleton noted.

Arising from Ireland’s failure to transpose the Third Directive properly, it was decided to pay compensation to the woman while legal proceedings commenced to decide whether the MIBI or State is liable for the sum paid.

Read the full story via ECJ asked to help establish liability over road crash payment.