A man took part in a 67km triathlon five weeks after allegedly suffering “incapacitating injuries” in a bicycle incident involving a hit and run driver, Dublin Circuit Civil Court has heard.
A €60,000 damages claim by Graham Dunne, aged 41, of Castlecurragh Park, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, was thrown out on the basis he had given misleading information regarding his previous medical history.
Conor Kearney, for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland which compensates victims of untraced motorists, told Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that Gaelforce West involved kayaking, cycling, and a hike up Croagh Patrick.
Mr Kearney told the court Mr Dunne had misled a doctor on his medical history.
He said that during an examination by Dr Pat O’Neill, a sports injury specialist, Mr Dunne had concealed information about a second incident at the National Aquatic Centre in which he had sustained head and neck injuries and which he had settled out of court for €20,000.
Mr Dunne said in his MIBI claim that he had suffered injuries to his chest wall, spine, right elbow and forearm, and right calf when knocked off his bicycle in Main St, Blanchardstown, in July 2017.
He denied, during cross-examination by Mr Kearney, that he had deliberately attempted to hide the fact he had suffered similar injuries in the Aquacentre accident to what had happened in the cycle incident.
Mr Kearney told the court that in accordance with section 26 of the Civil Liabilities and Courts Act, a court shall dismiss a claim where it considers a claimant has given evidence misleading in any material respect unless dismissal of the action would result in an injustice being done.
When closely examined about his failure to disclose the relevant injuries suffered in the Aquatic Centre incident, Mr Dunne said it may have been due to his naivety or stupidity.
Judge Groarke, dismissing the claim and directing he pay the MIBI’s legal costs, said Mr Dunne was an intelligent and well-educated man and the questions he had been required to answer were relatively straightforward and uncomplicated.
Mr Dunne had been asked to give Dr O’Neill a medical history, including previous accidents and hospitalisations, and had merely stated that he had sustained minor sports injuries and skin lacerations when playing hurling and a skin burn injury to his right shoulder in childhood.
Judge Groarke said there had been complete silence when it came to the surgical examination and medical treatment he required following the Aquatic Centre incident in which he had to have stitches inserted in a head wound.
“It is compelling me to the conclusion that the plaintiff was misleading Dr O’Neill by failing to give him all the relevant details, not because of a misunderstanding but because of a determination not to reveal the Aquatic Centre accident,” said the judge.