Statute of Limitations

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The Statute of Limitations specifies that certain actions must be taken within a specific period of time e.g. an action alleging personal injury must be taken in general within 2 years from the date of the accident.  An action arising out of defamation must be taken within one year from the defamation occurring.  A more difficult situation is where the Plaintiff becomes aware of the fact that they may well have a cause of action arising out of a repetitive strain injury.  These type of injuries generally arise out of employment situations.

Once a person becomes aware that they may have suffered an injury arising out of the repeated performance of a particular task they must institute proceedings within 2 years.

A recent case against The Minister for Defence demonstrates this.  The Plaintiff in that case was found to have had the requisite knowledge to commence his proceedings in January 2009, however, the Plaintiff commenced his proceedings more than 2 years after that date.  The High Court struck out his claim on the basis that the case was statute barred.  The Judge was very influenced by Section 2 of the Statute of Limitations amendment Act 1991.  That Act says that effectively the time runs from the date of a person’s knowledge.  These issues demonstrate that claims for repetitive strains/stress injuries can be complicated and it is important to act as soon as possible otherwise a Plaintiff may well find that their claim is statute barred.  If you have any queries in respect of the above talk to Finola Cronin Partner at fcronin@dobbynmccoy.com or telephone 051 – 874087