Taxi driver claiming €60k ‘was lying through his teeth’

A taxi driver, who a court was told yesterday was “lying through his teeth,” has withdrawn a €60,000 damages claim for personal injuries he allegedly suffered in a road traffic accident.

Stephen McAuley, aged 39, claimed in the Circuit Civil Court that on December 20, 2012, he was a front-seat passenger in a car when it was struck by another vehicle driven by Jason Whelan at a roundabout in Hollystown, Dublin.

Mr McAuley, of Chapelwood Avenue, Hollystown, alleged he suffered soft- tissue injuries to his neck. He had been off work for several weeks following the accident and needed physiotherapy. He told Shane English, counsel for Mr Whelan’s insurer, Allianz Insurance, that the car had to be written off after the collision.

Mr English told the court liability was not an issue in the case which had become an assessment of damages only. He said “credibility, however, is very much an issue.”

Mr English told the court Mr Whelan, of Gleann Bhreandáín’s Road, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, had insured his vehicle two weeks before the accident and cancelled his policy two weeks after it. “Then we never heard of him again,” he said.

Counsel told Mr McAuley during cross examination that he had failed to disclose several previous accidents in court documents.

“You have not told us about a myriad of accidents and you’re still lying, which is probably worse, because you are now are under oath. You are lying through your teeth,” he said.

Mr English said Mr McAuley had disclosed two previous road traffic accidents but Allianz Insurance had discovered many more, including some that had happened in similar circumstances and some for which he had been awarded damages.

Judge James O’Donohoe told Mr McAuley’s legal team the plot “was thickening and there could be serious consequences for their client”.

After adjournment, the court was told Mr McAuley was withdrawing his claim. Judge O’Donohoe awarded legal costs against him.

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