25.In the opinion of the Board, two factors must be taken into account in the application of the principle of aggravated damages in the context of the redress scheme. First, the level of “aggravation” which should attract an additional award must take into account that the very essence of the scheme is to provide redress for the serious hurt suffered by applicants who have been abused. In other words, the “constitutive elements of redress” (set out in paragraph 20 above) establish that the threshold from which the Board must consider whether an applicant has suffered additional hurt is a high one. Secondly, factors which in other cases might be taken to justify an award of aggravated damages will normally have already have been taken into account by the Board in its assessment of the severity of the abuse or of the injuries suffered by the applicant. It is the view of the Board that additional awards on the basis of aggravated damages will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
Accordingly, an additional award based on the principle of aggravated damages will only be made where the Board is satisfied that the manner in which the applicant was abused was so oppressive or outrageous that an award based solely on the constitutive elements of redress does not represent an award which is fair and reasonable having regard to the unique circumstances of the applicant.
26.No additional redress is payable on the principle of punitive or exemplary damages.
27.An award by the Board may include an award for medical expenses incurred or to be incurred in respect of medical treatment for the injury suffered by the applicant. The award will, for example, include the expense of medical treatment (including psychiatric treatment) for the injury resulting from the abuse which it was reasonable for the applicant to receive in the past and/or which appears to the Board, on the basis of the medical evidence available to it, to be reasonable for him or her to receive in the future. The award for medical expenses will take the form of an additional award assessed on the basis of the evidence available to the Board, and in accordance with the Regulations made by the Minister.
The Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (Section 17) Regulations 2002 provide that the Board when making an award may include an additional award in respect of the reasonable expenses of medical treatment which the applicant has received for the effects of his or her injury. The Board may also include an additional award in respect of the reasonable costs of medical treatment which the applicant will receive in the future, but such award shall not exceed 10 per cent of the redress award.
28.The Board may in its assessment of the severity of the injury suffered by the applicant take into account the likelihood that the necessary treatment will have an ameliorative effect on the condition of the applicant in the future.
(d)Other costs and expenses
29.An award made by the Board may also include an award for reasonable expenses incurred in making the application to the Board.
[For further details of the expenses and legal costs payable by the Board, see below paragraphs 76 and 111.
Please note that applicants and their families may also be entitled to funding under the Education Fund set up by the Department of Education and Science in 2002. This fund aims to provide an opportunity for former residents who were denied an education. Further information about the Fund is available from the Education Facilitator, NOVA, 19 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.]