Claims Ireland

The Independent Service that Assesses Compensation Claims

Bus Eireann wont prevent bus crash victims families compensation claims

04-Sep-2008


It had been feared that a number of the families would not be able to claim compensation for the loss of their daughters as they had not lodged claims with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) within the statutory two-year period of the accident in May 2005.

Claims must be lodged with the PIAB - the State body that assesses compensation claims - within two years of an accident.

However, a spokesperson for Bus Eireann said yesterday (Tuesday) that it would “do nothing to impede the families” from making a claim.

Financial settlements have been reached with a number of families whose children were injured in the crash, but survived.

Maurice Priestley of PIAB said that they would not comment on individual cases, but explained that where somebody makes a claim, they ask the other party if they are happy to allow them to assess it; if they agree, the board can proceed with the assessment.

He said the figure for compensation for mental distress caused by a death is set by the State at around €25,400.

Deputy Shane McEntee, who has acted as a spokesperson for the families in the past, said that the families of the five schoolgirls - Clare McCluskey, Lisa Callan, Aimee McCabe, Deirdre Scanlon and Sinead Ledwidge - did not want to discuss the issue.

He added that this was a particularly difficult time for them, following the recent inquests into the deaths of their loved ones.

He said the fact that the families were outside the two-year statute of limitations which could prevent the families from receiving compensation, was unfortunate.

He said it took five years to grieve but the injuries board only allowed two years in which to make a claim.

“It would have been the last thing on their minds at that time. It was very unfortuatne that they were not given proper legal advice on this,” Deputy McEntee added.

Meanwhile, representatives of the bereaved families are to meet Justice Minister Brian Lenihan soon to pursue their hope that a portion of the €2 million fine imposed on Bus Eireann would go to a project in memory of their children.

The €2 million fine imposed on Bus Éireann by Dublin Circuit Court last June will go into general Government coffers but the five families are hoping a deal can be struck with Minister Lenihan to earmark the money for the fund.