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Fraudulent and exaggerated personal injuries claims dismissed on appeal

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, hearing two appeals of personal injuries actions dismissed by the Circuit Court, dismisses the appeals in circumstances where one plaintiff brought a fraudulent claim before the Circuit Court, and another an exaggerated claim.

Personal injuries - two cases - minimal impact road traffic collisions - referral to medical specialist made by solicitor and not the plaintiff's own doctor - legal need to support claim for damages - fraudulent claims - troubling aspects of claim - excessive award of damages before Circuit Court - modest damages for minor injuries - medical evidence before Circuit Court - plaintiff's initial medical difficulties unrelated to index accident - nature of medical consultant's report - caution regarding reliance on medical reports - potential to mislead - higher duty of independence - balance of probability standard - legal costs arising from fraudulent claims - unmeritorious claims - plaintiff in fraudulent claim can inflict two sets of irrecoverable costs - not good practice for solicitors to refer clients to medical consultants - plaintiff's claim dismissed as she was not in fact in vehicle at time - finding of a fraudulent claim on balance of probabilities standard - claim for punitive damages based on medical practitioner's claim before Circuit Court that plaintiff had not been honest - neck and back pain of second plaintiff not caused by minimal contact between his car and the defendant's - monetary award for soft tissue/whiplash injuries - subjective and objective medical assessment of injuries - non-binding nature of book of quantum - fairness of award to plaintiff and defendant - reasonable in light of general level of after-tax incomes - recent caselaw of High Court on assessment of damages in personal injuries actions - common sense - principles to be applied - jurisdiction of claim.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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