24th May 2022
While we may be coming to the end of the Zoom era, questions keep coming on Highland Radio and this morning was no exception.
The broadcast opened with the showbiz Trial in Fairfax County between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard being highlighted by our contributor Seamus Gunn who explained how high the stakes were for Johnny Depp and any future career he might hope to pursue on the big screen. He thought that it beggars belief that he would repeat the Trial which had already been run in the UK Courts when he was unsuccessful some 2 years ago after similar allegations were published in the Sun that labelled Depp as a “Wife Beater”. He said in Fairfax County Depp was suing Heard for 50 Million, while she was counter claiming for 100 Million. Seamus Gunn was of the view that money aside, it was the reputational damage that was going to be the big fallout from the case. He said he thought that while Amber Heard may have more time on her side to rebuild her reputation, time may not be so kind to Johnny Depp who is in his late 50s and who already had a follow up to the Pirates of the Caribbean put on hold as a result of liable actions being pursued. Our contributor was of the view that Amber Heard had some credibility in that the allegations of physical abuse did ring true and that she was found to be credible in the English Courts. Therefore, if the same result followed it could be a costly course to pursue for Depp. He was firmly of the view that this was an action that should not have got into the public domain and should have been sorted between the parties.
This case which has caught the imagination of the US public is continuing and shall be played out further over the coming weeks.
One of the busiest Q&As followed with the very interesting take on the Roe V Wade 1973 case and the leaked Supreme Court draft decision earlier this week. All can be listened to online.
20th April 2022
The show kicked off this morning by way of a telephone link. The challenge which commenced in the High Court midweek against the Judicial Council’s adoption of the Personal Injury guidelines was highlighted as having potentially serious implications for the public and the insurance industry. Our contributor Seamus Gunn explained with the introduction of PIAB in 2003, the emphasis was on trying to bring some certainty to awards and to reduce legal fees in respect of the pursuit of such claims. He said that the case in point was being brought by a lady in Dungarvan as a result of a fractured bone in her ankle and that while the accident occurred prior to March 2021, it was not assessed until the new guidelines were in place. He explained that under the old system she could have expected General Damages of € 18,000.00 – € 25,000.00 in respect of such an injury, but that the award came in at € 3,000.00 and was obviously going to be challenged. He said that it would be interesting to see how this was going to play out as the very purpose for which the Injuries Board was set up would now be frustrated as all such claims would likely go down the Judicial route, therefore adding significantly to legal costs as it was highly unlikely that such awards would be accepted. He said that PIAB and the book of quantum had been working adequately and that 70 – 80% of claims were being dealt with at this level. A lot of interested parties will be awaiting the outcome of this case.
The collapsing of the 2020 Health Act was discussed by our contributor Seamus Gunn, who explained that the purpose of the legislation was for the preservation and protection of the public health and to allow the Minister for Health to introduce appropriate measures to curtail the spread of Covid 19. He said that it had already been extended in 2021 and he thought that it beggared belief that it was not extended for a further period in light of the escalating Covid figures in recent weeks. He referenced Shanghai with a population of 26 million at 50% lockdown, with a minute number of symptomatic cases which were non comparable to the figures in the island of Ireland, averaging at 12,000 per day. He said that the WHO spokesperson Dr. Mike Ryan stated that Covid 19 remains an acute global emergency. He said that while it may not be envisaged that the emergency powers would be needed and at least this was the aspiration, it was best to have the legislation in place. Greg Hughes was of the opinion that the public may not buy into any further restrictions. Seamus Gunn said that this could be the difficulty in trying to reintroduce such measures with the change in sentiment.
The Q&A that followed ranged from the Succession Act to the tricky subject of Separation and can be listened to online.