€60k claim withdrawn by man who says ‘accident is my middle name’

A 39-year-old jobless man has withdrawn a €60,000 damages claim, arising from a road-traffic accident. The judge told him to stop “ducking and diving”, when asked about previous accidents.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan told Paul Gorman, of Owensilla, Ballymun, Dublin, he would have to end the trial if Mr Gorman did not answer the questions he was being asked.

Barrister Conor Kearney had been persistent in a cross-examination of Mr Gorman about claims he had brought previously and which he had not disclosed in a questionnaire regarding previous accidents.

“Accident is my middle name,” Mr Gorman told the Circuit Civil Court, but added that despite having suffered breakages to every bone in his body, he had not always made claims or taken claims to court.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor solicitors for AXA Insurance customers Sharon Crichlow and Jude Ikuenobe, told Mr Gorman he was avoiding answering questions about claims he had settled outside of court and about his criminal record.

Each time Mr Gorman told the court he had no other accidents, Mr Kearney would raise details of yet another accident, claim, or settlement in which he had been involved.

Judge O’Sullivan told Mr Gorman, who was in the witness box: “This has gone on far enough. I am going to give you an opportunity to talk to your barrister and the court will sit again in five minutes.”

Following brief talks between the parties in the corridor, Mr Kearney said the claim against AXA’s clients had been withdrawn. Judge O’Sullivan struck out the case and awarded the company its legal costs against Mr Gorman.

The judge told the man’s legal team the court had no criticism of his solicitor and counsel.

“Your client has stated, in the witness box, that his middle name was accident and that has been borne out in the evidence. It is important for a plaintiff in any case to make full disclosure of accidents they were involved in,” the judge said.


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