Friends’ personal injury claims dismissed over misleading evidence- 3h ago
Two friends who brought personal injury claims after a lorry “grazed” a car while they were parked in the hard shoulder of the M7 have had their claims dismissed for giving misleading evidence and failing to disclose details of previous accidents.
Christian Carluccio and Leonid Iliev sued Dungarvan Transport Ltd and driver Gruselionis Valdas following an incident on November 15, 2018.
While the defendants admitted liability, they disputed the level of impact and the veracity of the claims.
The lorry involved had cameras installed on the front, rear and sides, and CCTV of the incident was shown in court, with Mr David Roberts BL pointing out how the car the plaintiffs were in “didn’t even move”.
Under cross-examination from Mr Roberts, it transpired that both plaintiffs had failed to provide relevant information.
Mr Carluccio didn’t disclose that he was involved in four other road accidents, including one where he crashed into a Luas tram outside the head office of Axa Insurance in Dublin, which was acting for the defendants in this case.
In total, he was involved in six other crashes, two of which he disclosed to the court.
Waterford Circuit Civil Court heard how he was also claiming for medical expenses, despite having a medical card.
Mr Carluccio, who lives in Cabra, Dublin, was also seeking expenses for travelling to Cavan for numerous consultations with his solicitor Noel O’Gorman.
He told the court he could no longer pick up his children or cook them dinner due to severe headaches, and continued to experience pain four years after the accident.
Mr Roberts read out conclusions from three medical reports provided by Mr Carluccio’s GP, an independent assessor from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and an independent expert employed on behalf of the defendant.
The report by the GP estimated his recovery as being six to nine months, the doctor deployed by PIAB found “no abnormalities on examination” and the independent expert also saw “no significant abnormality”.
Mr Iliev, who was a passenger in the car, gave evidence that he suffered whiplash-type injuries, had a sore knee and suffered from numbness in his arms.
The court also heard how he made a loss of earnings claim in his initial application with PIAB, but Mr Roberts pointed out that he was not working at the time.
He was also involved in another accident in 2019, which he did not disclose until the day before the hearing.
Judge Mary O’Malley Costello criticised both plaintiffs for giving inaccurate information in their affidavits and for seeking to blame their legal representatives.
“One can blame solicitors for a lot, but one can’t blame solicitors when one swears an affidavit and swears what they’re saying to be true,” she said.
She said Mr Iliev was not an honest witness and that he had exaggerated his evidence, adding that the medical evidence didn’t support the claim.
Both claims were dismissed and costs were awarded in favour of the defendants.
Axa, instructed by Smithwick Solicitors, said: “AXA Insurance will always seek to defend cases such as the one presented in court today in order to protect our honest customers.