Language of document :

Reference for a preliminary ruling from Court of Appeal (Ireland) made on 9 March 2017 – David Smith v Patrick Meade, Philip Meade, FBD Insurance plc, Ireland, Attorney General

(Case C-122/17)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

Court of Appeal

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: David Smith

Defendants: Patrick Meade, Philip Meade, FBD Insurance plc, Ireland, Attorney General

Questions referred


the relevant provisions of national law provide for an exclusion for compulsory motor insurance in respect of persons for whom no fixed seats in a mechanically propelled vehicle have been provided,

the relevant insurance policy provides that cover will be confined to passengers travelling in fixed seating and this policy was, factually, an approved policy of insurance for the purposes of that national law at the time of the accident,

the relevant national provisions providing for such an exclusion from cover have already been adjudged to be contrary to EU law in an earlier decision of this Court (Case C-365/05 Farrell v. Whitty) and, accordingly, required to be disapplied, and

the language of the national provisions is such that it does not permit of an interpretation conforming to the requirements of EU law,

then, in litigation between private parties and a private insurance company concerning a motor accident involving a serious injury to a passenger in 1999 who was not travelling in a fixed seat, where, by consent of the parties, the national Court joined the private insurance company and the State as defendants is the national court when disapplying the relevant provisions of national law also obliged to disapply the exclusion clause contained in the motor insurance policy or otherwise preclude an insurer from relying on the exclusion clause which was in force at the time so that the injured victim could then have recovered directly as against the insurance company on foot of that policy? Alternatively, would such a result amount in substance to a form of horizontal direct effect of a Directive against a private party in a manner prohibited by EU law?