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Collective action lawsuit Bill introduced by Sinn Féin – Ó Laoghaire

9 November, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

The Dáil will next week debate legislation, proposed by Sinn Féin, which will put in place procedures which would allow the victims of the Tracker Mortgage Scandal to collectively sue the Banks.

The Multi Party Action Bill, sponsored by Sinn Féin TDs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire and Pearse Doherty, provides for a category of persons affected by an issue of Common Fact of Law to take an action collectively.

Speaking after introducing the Bill today at Leinster House, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said that he hoped that all Parties would support this legislation, facilitate its passage through the House, to ensure that the Banks can be brought to account.

The Cork South-Central TD said:

“The legislation we are bringing forward this coming week is a potential game changer in how the Courts Deal with cases where large categories of people are affected by a particular injustice or inequity.

“There are numerous examples, including victims of the Tracker Mortgages, but also victims of defective medical products, and victims of fraud on an institutional basis, who could potentially benefit from these processes.

“Currently, the only real option for such persons, is for a test case to proceed, and related cases to follow subsequently on the basis of that precedent.

“Our model has significant advantages over that, it would reduce the cost of litigation, reduce duplication and cost of representation, make better use of Court Resources, and crucially improve access to Justice.

“I believe that this will allow for people to proceed on the basis of strength in numbers, and will embolden many to become part of an action where previously the fear of costs, may have intimidated them.

“We are far behind comparable jurisdictions in not having an avenue to justice like this.

“It could have a similar effect and impact as processes such as the Class Action in the United States, or the Group Legal Order in the UK.

“The manner in which the Banks have treated the victims of the Tracker Mortgage Scandal has been scandalous, and the Government has essentially facilitated them.

“They have taken advantage of the fact that those affected are often not in a position to take an action themselves, because of the financial cost in doing so alone.

“We want to give those affected by the Tracker Mortgage scandal and other injustices the tools to take on the Banks, and we hope that all Parties will support this legislation.” 

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