Irish Rail's owner needs more lawyers to help it deal with personal injury and other claims

The CIE Group had a 20% increase in cases assigned to external solicitors last year.

By Killian Woods Reporter, Fora

THE GROUP BEHIND Ireland’s key public transport services is hunting for more lawyers to help it cope with the rising external caseload of personal injury and other claims.

The CIE Group, which includes Irish Rail, Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and CIE Tours International, already employs in-house solicitors to deal with the majority of legal cases against the organisation.

However, in 2016 the number of cases assigned to external solicitors by the organisation rose by just over 20% on the previous year.

Last year, CIE companies were involved in Circuit Court cases on 102 occasions, in District Court cases 11 times and High Court cases in 18 instances, according to recent tender documents.

The group’s call for outside legal help said it needed “external litigation solicitors to assist it in defending delegated relevant claims” in all three jurisdictions.

table 14 Cases assigned to external solicitors in 2015 and 2016
Source: CIE Group

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The figures only represent cases passed on to external solicitors and not the total caseload faced by the entire group. Representatives for the CIE Group’s various offshoots could not confirm to Fora if the overall number of claims had risen in recent years.

Services required

The tender said the CIE Group is seeking solicitors to provide advice in relation to third-party personal injury, employers liability and property damage claims.

In the document, the transport group also outlined its intention to create a regional network of solicitors to handle claims in seven circuit courts outside Dublin.

Two legal firms will be appointed to look after third-party personal injury and other claims arising in the capital.

Successful applicants to the tender will be awarded a contract of three years, with CIE reserving the right to extend the deal for a further two years.

File Photo DUBLIN BUS DRIVERS are set to strike for six days next month. Unions are seeking a 15% pay increase over the next three years and the 6% rise they were due to get under an agreement in 2009, but which was deferred.
Source: Eamonn Farrell/

Recent claims

In the last year, CIE Group companies were involved in a number of high-profile claims cases across the District, Circuit and High Courts.

In Decemeber, it was ordered to pay almost €25,000 in damages to a bar assistant who slipped on pigeon poo at Dublin’s Heuston Rail Station.

Earlier this year, a Dublin Bus driver was awarded €12,500 in damages in the Circuit Civil Court against his employer over claims he was defamed by offensive graffiti on a toilet door at his workplace.

Meanwhile last month, Irish Rail was in the High Court on two separate occasions. An inspector at the transport firm brought it to court to preventing his employer from carrying out a disciplinary hearing into an allegation he stole fuel from the company.

The rail firm also settled out of court with a worker who was dismissed from her job after she failed a random breath test for alcohol.

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