2020 proved to be another important year in the history of tort litigation in Ireland with significant decisions in areas such as professional negligence; the duty of care; vicarious liability; and psychiatric damage. This course is designed for solicitors/barristers who wish to update their knowledge in the field of personal injury litigation.


In this 90-minute pre-recorded CPD session the following cases and issues will be dealt with:


Morrissey v HSE [2020] IESC 6

  • How was the professional standard of care applied by Clarke CJ? How was it distinguished from the ‘standard of approach’ and the ‘absolute confidence’ test?
  • What did Clarke CJ have to say about causation and the ‘loss of chance’ doctrine in medical negligence cases?
  • What did the court have to say regarding the types of relationships to which the doctrine of vicarious liability would apply?
  • How did Clarke CJ approach the law on non-delegable duties of care?


UCC v ESB [2020] IESC 38

  • What did the Supreme Court have to say about the duty of care and the ‘do no harm’ principle?
  • What did the Supreme Court have to say about the ‘acts of commission v acts of omission’ debate within the duty of care?
  • What approach did the Supreme Court adopt to the development of the common law in novel cases?

Sheehan v Bus Éireann [2020] IEHC 160

  • How did Keane J deal with the question of ‘primary/secondary victims’ in cases involving negligently inflicted psychiatric damage?
  • How did Keane J approach the status of rescuers in cases of negligently inflicted psychiatric damage?
  • To what extent can a defendant deny a duty of care was owed where the harm caused to the plaintiff was due to the defendant’s self-inflicted injuries? Would imposing liability in such circumstances be contrary to his right to self-determination?

At the end of this on-demand course, you will earn 1.5 CPD points. Please consult the CPD rules for your profession to ascertain how many CPD Points you can claim for private study of audio/visual material. Upon completion of viewing please contact val.corbett@lawschool.ie for a certificate of completion.



Dr Val Corbett is the Head of Programmes at LawSchool.ie. His principal research and teaching experience are in the areas of Tort law and Employment Law. He is author of Tort Law – Cases in a Nutshell (3rd ed.) (Round Hall, 2019) and co-editor of the Tort Law & Litigation Review (Clarus Press). He is also co-author of Employment Law in Ireland (Clarus Press, Dublin 2009), the second edition of which is due for publication in 2020.


The fee for the Personal Injury Law Updates – 2020 is €65.

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