Judge throws out €60,000 personal injury claim after finding woman gave ‘misleading’ evidence.

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Judge Brian O’Callaghan dismissed the plaintiff’s personal injury claim against an Agricultural Show Society.  The judge stated that the evidence by the Plaintiff “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 as the Plaintiff gave “misleading” evidence he ordered her to pay the costs of the Agricultural Show Society.  The Plaintiff 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.  The Plaintiff 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.”  The Plaintiff 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 the Plaintiffs back eight months after the alleged incident showed degenerative changes in her back.  Judge O’Callaghan said that it was clear that the Plaintiff 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 incident.  The Plaintiff had previously obtained a €27,200 settlement concerning a personal injury claim from a road traffic accident.  Counsel for the Agricultural Show Society stated that at no time in the Plaintiff’s direct evidence or in her claim did she state that she had any back problems before the alleged ‘door’ incident.  The barrister for the defendant stated in the Plaintiffs claim concerning the 2013 personal injury action made three months prior to the alleged ‘door’ incident the Plaintiff’s GP had noted “severe pain in her lower back with reduced range of movement”.  In evidence, the Plaintiff stated that in the night of the door incident on she “could not turn in the bed and keep waking up with the pain”.  Judge O’Callaghan found that this was an inconsistency in the Plaintiff’s evidence as she was able to attend her office the following day concerning the 2013 claim after being unable to sleep the night before.  Speaking after the case, chairman of the Agricultural Show Society stated: “We are delighted with the outcome.” Solicitor for the Show Society 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.”