The State Claims Agency has 10,658 outstanding cases that are being managed at a potential cost of €3.15 billion.

Ciarán Breen, Director of the State Claims Agency (SCA), was before the Public Accounts Committee today where he said that there are 3,196 clinical claims, which have an estimated liability of €2.33bn.

He said that clinical claims amount to 30% of the total volume of the claims and this represents 74% of the potential cost.

On the general side, the SCA has 7,462 claims which are active at a cost of €0.82bn. These claims are the employers and public liability and property damage claims against the State.

Mr Breen outlined that the amount of money the SCA spends across the clinical indemnity scheme and the general indemnity scheme has risen from €303m in 2017 to €347m in 2018.

He said that factors such as claims inflation and settling more claims caused this inflation.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly questioned why the €3.1bn liability was going up.

Mr Breen said the consequence of the Gill Russell case means about a 35% increase in any individual catastrophic injuries claim.

This is a 2014 court judgment that set a new precedent for how serious personal injury claims are paid.

Mr Breen said that within the SCA's clinical negligence portfolio of cases there are a "relatively significant number of cerebal plasy or catastrophic injury cases".

He pointed out that one of those cases recently had a total cost of €32.5m.

He said that was an exceptional case but "it gives an idea of the potential cost of any particular catastrophic injuries case".

Mr Breen said the settlements and awards in clinical negligence cases are increasing. He acknowledged that 97% of these cases are settled outside court.

Regarding the CervicalCheck controversy, where there are 221 potential cases, Ms Connolly asked how many actual cases are before the SCA.

Mr Breen said there are 117 claims in total as of 27 June and there are three further potential claims. Seven cases have been settled, one of which is finalised where all costs have been agreed.

There are three cases listed for hearing in the High Court in October and a mediation in one of those cases will take place this month.

Deputy Connolly asked if Mr Breen knew when Ruth Morrissey's Supreme Court apeal is likely to be heard.

Mr Breen said "we don't really. We are very much in the hands of the Supreme Court."