Monday 25 September 2017

Trio drop €180,000 damages claim over 'car crash injuries'

'Barrister Martin FitzGerald told Judge Rory MacCabe that the defendant, Hertz Rent-A-Car, had claimed fraud in defence documents challenging the personal injury claims of Audrius Stelmokas, Julius Zivelis and Deividas Kaciukas, who all live in Dublin' (stock photo)
'Barrister Martin FitzGerald told Judge Rory MacCabe that the defendant, Hertz Rent-A-Car, had claimed fraud in defence documents challenging the personal injury claims of Audrius Stelmokas, Julius Zivelis and Deividas Kaciukas, who all live in Dublin' (stock photo)

Ray Managh

Three men have withdrawn damages claims totalling €180,000 which were alleged by counsel in the Circuit Civil Court to have been fraudulent.

Barrister Martin FitzGerald told Judge Rory MacCabe that the defendant, Hertz Rent-A-Car, had claimed fraud in defence documents challenging the personal injury claims of Audrius Stelmokas, Julius Zivelis and Deividas Kaciukas, who all live in Dublin.

Mr FitzGerald, who appeared with Michael Brennan, solicitor for Ryans Investments, which trades as Hertz Rent-a-Car, applied for and was awarded costs against each of the plaintiffs.

Counsel for the three Lithuanians had told Judge MacCabe, immediately following the calling on of the cases, that she had just received instructions to withdraw all of the claims before the court.

Julius Zivelis (29), with an address at Beechwood Downs, Hartstown, Dublin 15, and the two other claimants, had also sued a Vladimiras Zubko, also a Lithuanian, who allegedly drove a car rented from Hertz into the rear of Kaciukas's car in which they were passengers.

He claimed he was a front-seat passenger in the car driven by Kaciukas, and that the accident occurred at Hollywell Road, Swords, Co Dublin, on February 2, 2015, after which he had developed increasing pain in his neck and lower back.

Zivelis claimed he was the father of a newborn baby and as a result of his injuries had been "impeded in lifting, bathing and bending to wash" his son. He had also been unable for three weeks to do his job as a warehouse operative.

Audrius Stelmokas, a 37-year-old driver, with an address at Bawnlea Avenue, Tallaght, Dublin, also a passenger in Kaciukas's car, claimed he developed pain in his lower back and neck. On top of his €60,000 claim, he sought €1,000 for loss of earnings.

Kaciukas (38), also a driver of Hollywell Road, Swords, Co Dublin, claimed he was driving the 18-year-old car and had stopped to give way to other traffic at a roundabout at Hollywell when the car driven by Zubko, of Grange Park Road, Dublin 5, rear-ended his vehicle.

He, too, had developed pain in his lower back and neck. Keans Solicitors for Kaciukas, in replies to particulars in June 2016, stated his back had been injured in a work accident in 2014 for which a claim had been issued. Keans stated Kaciukas had also been involved in a road traffic accident in November 2014 and had also issued a claim for an injury to his back. He was stated to be receiving disability benefit from August 2014.

Judge MacCabe told Mr FitzGerald that the three withdrawn cases "carried the burden of costs" in favour of his clients.

Irish Independent

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