Judge refers details of personal injury appeal to DPP

A HIGH Court judge has referred to the DPP details of a personal injuries appeal hearing in which a “mixed boxing” enthusiast claimant was filmed competing in four separate events while receiving medical treatment for alleged lower back pain arising from a road crash.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said the videos had been taken over a period of from two to three years.

Raymond Smith, aged 27, of Lanesborough Avenue, Finglas, Co Dublin, had taken proceedings against Lisa Fitzgerald of Lanesborough Square, St Margaret’s Road, Dublin. He was awarded €7,500 by a circuit court judge last November but this decision was appealed.

The crash occurred on August 19, 2009, at a junction on the Swords Road when the appellant’s car drove into the rear of the plaintiff’s car. The court heard Mr Smith had been involved in a similar crash in May 2008 as a result of which he secured more than €15,000 in compensation.

The videos were taken of Mr Smith on September 19, 2010, June 11 and 25, 2011, and October last year. This evidence was also shown at the circuit court hearing.

Jonathan Kilfeather, counsel for Ms Fitzgerald, sought to have the case dismissed on grounds that Mr Smith’s evidence was false and misleading.

After viewing the videos which showed Mr Smith in a very athletic and fit light, Mr Kilfeather put it to him that there was “no sign of a disability there”.

Mr Smith said when he was moving around the pain was okay. It was only when he was still that he felt it.

Mr Justice Kearns said the video material showed Mr Smith involved in mixed martial arts and the court could see the level of strenuous physical activity he was engaged in. Twenty two days before the crash, he had complained of almost constant neck pain and yet said he had made a full recovery from his first accident when the second accident occurred. That strikes me as unbelievable, said the judge.

The judge said it seemed to him that nothing the plaintiff said was worthy of belief and he was applying the provisions of section 26 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 and dismissing the claim. He also directed that the videos be sent to the DPP together with a transcript of the evidence in the case to ascertain if any further action was warranted.

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