A judge has thrown out an Ennis woman’s €60,000 personal injury claim for a back injury after finding that she gave “misleading” evidence in court.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan dismissed Marianne Moloney’s personal injury claim against the County Clare Agricultural Show Society.
He stated that the evidence by Ms Moloney “was in some respects unreliable, in many respects quite inconsistent and quite clearly faulty in other respects”.
Judge O’Callaghan stated: “I have no option but to dismiss the claim.”
He also found that Ms Moloney of Abbey Court, Limerick Rd, Ennis gave “misleading" evidence and ordered her to pay the costs of the County Clare Agricultural Show Society.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that the defendant company in the case “is a voluntary organisation and is doing its best” Ms Moloney alleged that she suffered the back injury when trying to open a large door of a large shed where her daughter’s two ponies were being kept at the Show Society's owned Showgrounds in Ennis on October 29th 2015.
Ms Moloney told the court: "What I have now is not back pain - anyone can have back pain - what I am going through is torture. I couldn’t stand for a while.”
In evidence, Ms Moloney stated: “I am telling the truth” and later stated: “I stand by what I have sworn. I don’t lie.” Ms Moloney told the court that she requires injections to deal with the continuing pain she suffers in her back.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that an MRI scan of Ms Moloney's back eight months after the alleged incident of October 2015 showed degenerative changes in her back.
Judge O’Callaghan said that it was clear that Ms Moloney does suffer from some discomfort “to put it mildly” from her back pain.
However, Judge O’Callaghan stated that the court was entitled to believe that the degenerative changes pre-dated the alleged October 2015 incident.
Ms Moloney had previously obtained a €27,200 settlement concerning a personal injury claim from a road traffic accident that occurred in 2013.
Counsel for the County Clare Agricultural Show Society, Moira Flahive BL stated that at no time in her direct evidence or in her claim did Ms Moloney state that she had any back problems before the alleged ‘door’ incident October 2015.
However Ms Flahive stated in Ms Moloney’s claim concerning the 2013 personal injury action made three months prior to the alleged ‘door’ incident in October 2015, Ms Moloney’s GP had noted “severe pain in her lower back with reduced range of movement”.
In evidence, Ms Moloney stated that in the night of the door incident on October 29 2015 she “could not turn in the bed and keep waking up with pain”.
Judge O’Callaghan found that this was an inconsistency in Ms Moloney’s evidence as she was able to attend her legal office the following day concerning the 2013 claim after being unable to sleep the night before.
Speaking after the case, chairman of the Co Clare Agricultural Show Society, Joe Lillis stated: “We are delighted with the outcome.”
Solicitor for the Show Society, Conor O’Neill stated: “Over the last 10 and 15 years judges would be very reluctant to make a cost order against a plaintiff but it is happening more and more often now and it is to drive out claims like this which are flawed.”