The High Court has overturned a verdict to award seven victims, who claim to have suffered whiplash, when their mini-bus was struck from behind by another car.
Ms Justice Maria Baker said that while the seven claimants did have medical signs of a whiplash type injury, they may not have necessarily been induced the way the claimants described.
They described incident took place on August 9th, 2008, at a t-junction known near Drumgoole, Silverstream, Co Monaghan on their way to Dundalk. Allegedly, the mystery car sped off after rear-ending their mini-bus with no one able to get a registration number and only two of the victims claiming to have actually seen the car.
They sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), for compensation. In total the mini-bus had nine passengers, but two of claimants had their appeals rejected in the Circuit Court. This was due to them not providing the burden of proof. The judge allowed MIBI’s appeals to the seven successful claimants this past Thursday.
One claimant, Lyndsey Gervin, who was one of the two to claim seeing the opposing car, had told the court the accident prevented her from attending the gym since 2008. However, her Facebook shows evidence of her attending the gym in 2013. The judge claimed this made the credibility of her provided evidence doubtful. Making her claims as one of the two people out of nine total to have allegedly witnessed the car less credible, which became significant to the case.
Two Gardai told the court that they found no evidence of a collision or debris on the road when they arrived at the scene.
The judge didn’t consider it credible that the plaintiffs wouldn’t have made an effort after the accident to assure the genuine damages to the mini-bus. While their memories of the accident have grown fuzzy over the years, they had several opportunities over the years to refresh or support those memories, she said.
The seven successful claimants were awarded between €3,000 and €8,000 compensation in the Circuit Court.
Image Credit: fairtrials.org