Legislation on Periodic Payment Orders (PPOs) has been awaited since 2010 when the Working Group on medical negligence recommended in their Report that PPOs be introduced. This legislation was introduced originally by the Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill in 2015 and eventually signed into law by Part 2 of the Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017.

On 1 October 2018 the legislation was finally commenced via Statutory Instrument No.377 - Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017 (Parts 1, 2 and 3) (Commencement) Order 2018.

The purpose of PPOs is to provide an alternative to a lump sum compensation payment for plaintiffs who have suffered catastrophic injury and who require lifetime care. The objective of the legislation is to ensure continuity of payment to cover the costs of care, as well as vital medication and therapies, throughout the lifetime of that plaintiff. The lack of any legislation had been criticised given the absence of a mechanism to ensure that plaintiffs who required lifetime care were not left under compensated by a lump sum payment. See our previous discussion of the legislation here and here.

Part 2 of the Act will apply to personal injuries actions relating to catastrophic injuries that are brought on or after the commencement date of 1 October 2018 or that have been initiated, and have not been concluded, prior to the commencement date, and also catastrophic injuries actions in which the court has already made an interim order of damages.