September 22, 2023

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The Courts role in disentangling the truth in Personal Injury Actions

The Courts role in disentangling the truth in Personal Injury Actions

The recent Superior Courtroom final decision of Ms Justice Niamh Hyland reiterates it is not a issue for a Court docket to “disentangle” a plaintiff’s assert when it has grow to be entangled thanks to lies and misrepresentations by the plaintiff. The stress of proof is on a plaintiff to establish that an accident caused or contributed to an harm.

Tomás McDonagh of RDJ LLP, alongside one another with Damien Higgins SC and Niall Flynn BL productively acted for the defendants on the recommendations of a big Insurer in the defence of the individual damage proceedings issued by the plaintiff.


The plaintiff issued Circuit Courtroom proceedings trying to find damages for particular injury arising from a street site visitors accident on 25 March 2015 when the motor vehicle he was a entrance seat passenger in, was impacted to the rear by the defendant’s truck at traffic lights when it rolled into the back of the vehicle. The plaintiff was included in a prior accident on 18 March 2015 when the vehicle he was driving rear ended a automobile on a motorway at 120km/hr and in which his spouse, brother and two youngsters built promises for individual harm. The plaintiff was also concerned in a subsequent incident on 23 July 2015 when his automobile was hit by another auto on the Quays in Dublin creating his car to spin all around.

Circuit Court docket

The proceedings had been initially commenced in the Circuit Court docket and the plaintiff’s circumstance was dismissed pursuant to Segment 26 of the Civil Legal responsibility and Coutts Act 2004 by Decide Fergus on 27 November 2020 when the plaintiff had lawful representation. The plaintiff appealed the choice with out authorized illustration.

The Law

The Court referred to the Supreme Court docket decision in Vesey v Bus Eireann where the Court docket concluded that it was not the obligation of the demo Choose to “disentangle” the plaintiff’s scenario when it has grow to be entangled as a result of lies and misrepresentation. The Court docket held that it could not disentangle the truth and it would only be capable to speculate how an accident prompted or contributed to an harm.

In addition, the Court also relied on Section 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004. In essence Area 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 delivers for a dismissal of the plaintiff’s declare either the place a plaintiff knowingly offers wrong or deceptive evidence or the place the Court is content that a individual has sworn an affidavit below s.14 of the exact Act that is phony or misleading in any materials respect. It is clear from the legislation the part is necessary in character and the segment obliges the defendant to build the plaintiff gave evidence or presented data knowing it was phony or misleading.


Counsel on behalf of the defendants used to strike out the plaintiff’s case on the basis:-

  1. The plaintiff experienced not set up a prima facie scenario and failed to discharge the stress of proof on him pursuant to Vesey v Bus Eireann 
  2. The plaintiff experienced not disclosed two other accidents supplying untrue replies, swearing a bogus Affidavit and creating medical professionals to give misleading evidence and the Court docket was obliged to dismiss the plaintiff’s circumstance pursuant to Segment 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.

The Court viewed as the mishaps the plaintiff was included in and came to the summary that the prior incident on 18 March 2015 was a significant incident and the affect have to have been important with the plaintiff attending his GP on the working day of the accident and Medical center three days afterwards. The plaintiff’s subsequent incident on 23 July 2015 also necessary the plaintiff to go to his GP. Neither incident was mentioned in the plaintiff’s proceedings and they were not disclosed in replies to particulars. The Court also reviewed the health-related experiences, and it was only right after June 2019 did the plaintiff’s clinical reviews refer to the other incidents. This was subsequent to the plaintiff swearing an Affidavit of Discovery and building discovery of health-related information which disclosed reference to the other incidents.

The Courtroom held the plaintiff frequently disregarded the other incidents in his proceedings and in his conversation with healthcare practitioners. The Court docket deemed experienced the plaintiff disclosed the other incidents then it was very likely professional medical evidence could have dealt with the 3 diverse accidents and the contribution of each and every accident to the injuries sustained. Devoid of these professional medical evidence the Court could not disentangle the truth and the Court would only be able to speculate how the incident the topic of the proceedings induced or contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries notably where by the plaintiff’s other incidents transpired shut in time. Even though the plaintiff thought that the accident the subject matter of the proceedings caused his accidents, the Court would not award damages based mostly on a perception and concluded the plaintiff unsuccessful to discharge the load of proof that the personal injury he alleged was caused or contributed to by the incident the topic of the proceedings.

The Court also viewed as Segment 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 and dismissed the plaintiff’s declare pursuant to Portion 26(1) of the Act in instances that the plaintiff’s replies to particulars have been incorrect and the plaintiff should have recognised that his first clinical report was incomplete. Also, as the Affidavit of Verification in regard of Replies to particulars was also incorrect and the plaintiff ought to have regarded that was the circumstance, the Court docket dismissed the scenario pursuant to Part 26(2) of the Act.

The Court for that reason dismissed the plaintiff’s case.


The determination of Ms Justice Hyland in the Significant Court docket is a reminder of the Courts part in adjudicating on proceedings in particular accidents steps which have been entangled thanks to a plaintiff’s lies and misrepresentations. The stress of evidence rests with the plaintiff to prove his injuries was prompted or contributed by the accident. Where a plaintiff embarks on a system of lies and misrepresentations, not only could the plaintiff’s declare be dismissed pursuant to Segment 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004, the plaintiff may well also not be capable to discharge the stress of proof, as it is not for the Courtroom to disentangle the real truth. The Court docket requires evidence to foundation an analysis of how an incident induced or contributed to the personal injury the plaintiff’s alleges they sustained. This cannot be available to a Courtroom when the plaintiff was not truthful in his pleadings and interaction with clinical practitioners.