Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 29 January, 1998
Written Answers. - Hepatitis C Tribunal.
Mr. Farrelly Mr. Farrelly
43. Mr. Farrelly asked the Minister for Health and Children if it is intended to amend the terms under which the hepatitis C compensation tribunal operates so as to allow for the making of compensation payments in circumstances where an applicant for compensation dies prior to the sum payable by way of compensation being determined. [2186/98]
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
150. Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children if it is intended to amend the terms under which the hepatitis C compensation tribunal operates so as to allow for the making of compensation payments in circumstances where an applicant for compensation dies prior to the  sum payable by way of compensation being determined. [2342/98]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 150 together.
Section 4 (1) of the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act, 1997, enables any dependant to make a claim for compensation to the tribunal where a person dies as a result of having contracted hepatitis C or where hepatitis C was a significant contributory factor to the cause of death.
Section 5 (1) of the Act provides that an award of the tribunal to a claimant shall be made on the same basis as an award of the High Court calculated by reference to the principles which govern the measure of damages in the law of tort and any relevant statutory provisions, including Part IV of the Civil Liability Act. In accordance with this provision, where a claimant dies before his or her case for damages is determined, the amounts recoverable by a dependant may not include damages for any pain or suffering or personal injury or for loss or diminution of expectation of life or happiness, as these matters are uniquely connected with the deceased.
Under section 11 of the Act, any claimant who has already accepted an award from the Tribunal may apply for a payment for an additional 20 per cent from the reparation fund in lieu of the tribunal assessing aggravated or exemplary damages. In recent months I received a number of submissions from the representative groups in relation to claimants who died after accepting an award of the tribunal, but before the establishment of the reparation fund. I am pleased to inform the House that the administrative arrangements are now in place to allow for the payments from reparation fund to the personal representatives of such claimants.
Having regard to the foregoing, I have no plans to amend the terms under which the compensation tribunal operates.
Dáil Éireann 486 Written Answers. Hepatitis C Tribunal.