A Navan-based driver for Dublin Bus, who was held by a judge today to have repeatedly lied under oath in the witness box, has lost a €60,000 rear-ending damages claim and been directed to pay the legal costs and expenses of RSA Insurance which fought the case.
Judge John O’Connor said he would not make any orders with regard to remitting papers in the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions as he felt it was a matter of the insurance companies in such actions to advocate any potential criminal follow-up in such cases.
He told 45-year-old Freddy Diankenda the court was satisfied he had told one lie after another in giving his evidence and that he had deliberately withheld relevant information from doctors and his solicitor and counsel in the case.
Judge O’Connor said it was not a matter for the Circuit Civil Court to make any determination in relation to any alleged criminal matter. He told barrister Paul McMorrow, counsel for RSA Insurance who had made the successful application to have Diankenda’s case thrown out, that the court was very conscious about saying or doing anything that might prejudice a criminal trial.
Mr McMorrow, who appeared with Lisa Conkey of BAC Beachcroft Solicitors for RSA and its insured driver, Elizabeth Robdertson, had asked Judge O’Connor if he would consider referring the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In an application under the Civil Liability and Courts Act, Mr McMorrow said Diankenda had lied to doctors, to the court and to his solicitor and his counsel about a third accident and personal injuries claim he had kept hidden from everyone.
Mr McMorrow said Diankenda had already obtained €14,000 damages for a first rear-ending accident in 2016 and was now seeking damages for a second accident he claimed had happened only three weeks later in the same year. He had not told anyone of a claim for a third rear-ending accident in 2017 which he had made against AXA Insurance.
Judge O’Connor said that not only had Diankenda told lies he had attempted to cover them up in replies to questions put to him in cross-examination by Mr McMorrow.
Diankenda, of Priory Grove, Johnstown, Navan, Co Meath, had claimed he had suffered what are commonly known as whiplash injuries to his neck and shoulders when Ms Robertson had driven into the back of his cousin’s car at Lucan, Co Dublin, in September 2016.
Mr McMorrow told the court that not only had Mr Diankenda stated to a doctor that the car in which he was a passenger had been driven into at speed but that Ms Robertson had tried to reverse from the point of collision which, he said, she would deny. The defendant in the case did not have to call any witness before Diankenda’s case was dismissed.
Section 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act states that where a plaintiff in a personal injuries case gives false or misleading evidence “the court shall dismiss the action” unless it considered that in doing so the decision would result in an injustice being done.
After readily conceding he had an earlier accident similar to the one before the court, Diankenda, in the view of the judge, had deliberately refused to answer questions relating to the third claim he had attempted to make against AXA.
An order for costs was made against Diankenda.