Judge throws out three personal injury claims
A Circuit Court judge on Wednesday threw out motor insurance personal injury claims totalling €180,000 and warned three claimants that An Garda Síochána was going to crack down on fraudulent claims.
Referring to one claimant as a “most incredible witness”, Judge Jacqueline Linnane said she did not believe any of the three Dublin residents.
Piotr Czaderski (38) of The Moyle, Prospect Hill, Finglas Road; Eugeniusz Perkowski, (67) of Addison Road, Fairview; and Maciej Kostka (25), of the Plaza, Coultry Road, Ballymun, were involved in a low-impact collision on Crumlin Road, Dublin on July 6th, 2016. The three were working at the same waste company at the time.
An assessor for the three said their Renault Megane, driven by Mr Czaderski, braked suddenly and was hit in the rear at between 5 and 10km/h by a VW Passat, driven by Aisling Kelly. She was travelling with her mother and niece and none of the occupants of that car suffered any injury.
Conor Kearney, counsel for Ms Kelly and Aviva Insurance, said the incident occurred outside a Garda station and an officer who inspected both vehicles found no damage to either.
Mr Czaderski confirmed that after the incident, he completed an eight-hour shift at Panda Waste.
All three subsequently went to doctors and asserted they had pain in a variety of places, mainly their backs and necks.
Mr Kostka went to a doctor 25 days after the incident but not again for two years, by which time he said he had neck pain, an injury to his left leg and a fear of driving. He said he had to leave his job as a driver because of the “crash”.
Mr Perkowski went to his doctor after the incident but not again until March of this year. He told Judge Linnane he had continued to work only because he wanted to have sufficient PAYE contributions for his retirement.
The three men acknowledged that they had discussed making their claims, each for €60,000.
Judge Linnane said she was not convinced any of the three had suffered any injury in the incident and that they had pre-planned making compensation claims.
Referring to the proposed new Garda anti-fraud team to tackle bogus insurance claims, the judge said the claims had been orchestrated by Mr Czaderski. A fourth man in his car with the other three had not lodged a claim.
Judge Linnane noted that neither the 78-year old passenger of Ms Kelly’s car nor her niece (5) sustained any injury yet men “engaged in heavy manual labour as their occupation” had all brought claims.
Visits to doctors were clearly for medico-legal purposes, she found as she dismissed all three claims.
Rob Smyth, head of fraud at Aviva, welcomed the decision and said the company had a “zero tolerance to fraud”.
“We intend to take all necessary steps to recover all our costs and will also make a formal criminal complaint to the gardaí,” he said.
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