Claim dismissed after film shows 'injured' man racing
Published 21/01/2012 | 05:00
AN alarm fitter's claim for €589,000 in lost earnings over injuries from a motorcycle accident was dismissed after an internet video showed him taking part in car drift racing.
The High Court threw out the claim from Billy Nolan Jr, from Millview House, Graigcullen, Co Carlow, after a video showed him participating in drifting -- forcing the car to slide sideways through a turn. The videos were shot over an 18-month period after the accident, the court heard.
Mr Nolan had claimed €447,000 for loss of earnings into the future and €142,000 for past earnings as a result of the injuries from the accident.
But dismissing his claim yesterday, Mr Justice Esmond Smyth said the father of two had given "false and misleading evidence" to a rehabilitation consultant that he had to give up his hobby of drift racing because of his injuries.
He had deliberately exaggerated his claim in relation to loss of earnings which was false and misleading in a material respect, the judge said.
Mr Nolan sued taxi driver Danny Mitchell and his employer, Patrick O'Neill of Tollerton, Co Carlow, arising out of an accident at Tollerton, in November 2005.
Mr Nolan, an alarm fitter who worked in the family business, claimed as a result of the accident he suffered serious injuries to his left hand, left knee, right foot and neck. He said he spent several months in a wheelchair.
He had "to learn to walk again," and because of his injuries was unable to take over the family business.
The judge said racing is a physical and agile sport requiring drivers to carry out sharp twists and turns.
Other images uploaded on dates after the accident included one of Mr Nolan lifting up another man and throwing him over the counter of a fish-and- chip shop and this was inconsistent with his claim that lifting weights was a problem for him, the judge noted.
The judge said as Mr Nolan was 40pc liable for the accident, he would be entitled to €190,000 in damages.
However, the judge said, given that misleading and false information had been given to the court, he was dismissing the entire case. He was satisfied no injustice would result from his decision.