The States ‘Secret Plan’
The Irish State illegally over-charged hundreds of thousands of people for nursing home care and deliberately denied payments of refunds to those effected. The State is potentially liable for sum of 12 billion euro over a 30-year period dating from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s. A confidential document has been realised in January 2023 discussing the importance of managing the historic long-stay litigation ‘with extreme care, discretion and confidentiality due to the very substantial level of liability to which the State could potentially ne exposed following an adverse outcome’. As of now, all cases have been settled outside of court, confidentiality has been a central element of the State’s legal strategy. The fear is that if details of the cases, the legal strategy and settlements were to gain a high public profile, it would spark a large number of claims.
Who is affected?
Many medical card holders had to pay for care over a 30-year period, but in 2005 the Supreme Court found that they had been entitled to it free of charge and monies are recoverably. This is applicable for patients in public and/or private nursing home care. It is estimated a potential exposure of billions of euro in refunds to public patients wrongly charged dating back to 1976 and from cases where public patients had to pay for private nursing home care due to a lack of public beds.
Secret Memorandum 2011
The potential cost of the issue was outlined in a confidential document in 2011. It was stated that the worst case scenario; for public cases dating back to 1976 was calculated at 5 billion euro , this would involve approximately 250,000 patients at the cost of 20,000 euro each. And for private cases; the Risk Analysis estimates a potential exposure of approximately 7 billion euro in regard to existing and potential cases.
What we can do
Every year the Department has settled a number of cases and in each instance has explored all options in relation to running the case, or otherwise. At present, there is no obvious lead case. In the absence of a suitable text case, it has been agreed by the Minister and the Attorney General’s Office, that settlement is made within the range of 40% – 60% of the capital value and on the best terms possible.
A great number of people have been adversely affected by the actions of the State in illegally charging patients and/or their families for long-term nursing home stays. If you feel you or a family member has been impacted by this wrongdoing, it may be worth seeking independent legal advice and speak one of our solicitor’s regarding your case. The statute of limitation only commences from the date of your knowledge. If you are seeking a Solicitor to start your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will investigate your claim, challenge the State, and maximise your redress.