Four east European nationals who claimed €240,000 damages for personal injuries arising out of a car crash in Dublin, have been told by a judge he was satisfied the collision had been staged.
Judge Cormac Quinn, in dismissing all of the cases and awarding legal costs totalling almost €80,000 against the claimants, said the court accepted that a car with four people in it had been driven to a predetermined site where it was to be rear-ended by a hire car.
Barrister Padraic Hogan, who appeared with David Culleton of Mason Hayes and Curran Solicitors for Budget Rent A Car told the court that the driver and three passengers in the rear-ended car had claimed €60,000 each in damages for personal injuries.
Mr Hogan was allowed to amend the defence entered on behalf of the Roscommon hire car firm and Zurich Insurance, which had mounted a forensic probe into the April 2018 accident, uncovering links to three other collisions almost in the same spot and involving some of the claimants.
Judge Quinn said the trojan investigation by the defence had to be commended and told Mr Hogan the evidence put forward by the claimants had stretched the credulity of the court and he did not accept any of it.
Judge Quinn said:
The claims had been made by Lukasz Urbaniak, driver of the rear-ended car, who lives with another claimant, Magdalena Urbaniok, both aged 37 of Garnish Square, Waterville, Dublin, and Marzena and Tomasz Stanek, both aged 42, of Charlestown Centre, St Margaret’s Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. The court heard the rental car had been hired only the previous day by a man also linked to earlier accidents.
“I accept that the four claimants in this case are known to each other and, as in three of the earlier accidents, a lone driver had been involved in the rear endings,” Judge Quinn said.
Mr Hogan’s amended defence stated that whatever was alleged to have occurred on April 12, 2018, had not been a bona fide traffic accident and had been deliberately caused by the driver of the car with three passengers in it.
Flynn Brothers Rent a Car Ballygar, trading as Budget Rent A Car, Athlone Road, Roscommon, maintained in its new defence that the passengers in the car had voluntarily allowed themselves to be carried to the site of the accident knowing it would deliberately be involved in a crash with its hire car.