A jobless lorry driver yesterday failed in a €60,000 damages claim for personal injuries arising from a road traffic crash less than an hour after he had settled a similar road traffic injury claim against his wife.
After Judge Jacqueline Linnane threw out Ireneusz Larus’s second claim, Frank Martin, counsel for the defendants, told the Circuit Civil Court he would be seeking to seize the earlier award of €12,500 to meet his client’s legal costs.
Judge Linnane, accepting an undertaking from Mr Larus’s solicitors that they would hold on to any cheque payable to him to settle the earlier case, said the cost of false claims was one of the reasons insurance companies put forward for insurance premiums going up.
Mr Martin, for lorry-driver Brendan Downey and his employer Dpf consultants Ltd, trading as Alltrans, of North Ring Business Park, Cloughran, Dublin 17, told the court Mr Larus, aged 50, of 94, Crumlin Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12, had presented false and misleading evidence on oath about the accident and his health.
Mr Larus had also sued his wife Barbara (Barita) Larus for up to €60,000 in another Circuit Civil Court appearance earlier and had told Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the case had been settled in his favour together with his legal costs.
Less than an hour later, Mr Larus told Mr Martin in Judge Linnane’s court he had settled the case against his wife for €12,500 with costs. He said he had been a passenger in his wife’s car when she had to swerve to avoid a cyclist.
Her foot had slipped off the brake onto the accelerator and they had crashed at 40kph into a stone wall. In the second incident, he said he had been driving along Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin, when Mr Downey had swerved into his lane, causing him to swerve against a kerb to avoid a collision.
“And you claim that after the arrival of an ambulance, two fire tenders and two garda cars you were taken on a stretcher by ambulance to St James’s Hospital,” Mr Martin said.
Mr Martin said the defence would call evidence that his car was not damaged nor even the tyres scuffed despite Mr Larus seeking to recover €3,324 for repairs to his car four months after he had sold it allegedly as an unsafe vehicle because of inner damage to the chassis.
Judge Linnane told Mr Martin she would accede to his request to have Mr Larus’s case dismissed on the basis there had been false and misleading evidence given to the court.
She said Mr Larus had sought in a sworn affidavit to back up his €3,324 repairs claim despite the car never having been repaired. He had sworn in evidence to the court that he had no physiotherapy despite having told two doctors he did have.
“I have found he has given false and misleading information and I have dismissed his case with costs against him and I am refusing a stay to facilitate consideration of an appeal,” Judge Linnane said.
When Mr Martin applied for leave to bring a motion for the appointment of a receiver over the €12,500 settlement against his wife, Judge Linnane accepted the undertaking by Mr Larus’s solicitors to hold on to any money forwarded to them until further order of the court.
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