Thursday 27 April 2017

Woman suing over neck injuries denies Facebook page shows she used the gym since accident

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Tim Healy

A WOMAN suing over injuries to her neck and back after a rear-ending incident has denied in the High Court that entries to her Facebook page meant she had done gym workouts since the accident despite testifying she had not.

Lyndsey Gervin (33), a mother of two from Coalisland, Co Tyrone, is one of nine people who sued for soft tissue injuries arising out of the August 2008 accident when a car allegedly collided with the rear of the mini- bus the group were in on their way to a night out at the dogs in Dundalk.

They claim the car left the scene immediately and no one got its registration.

The nine, including the driver, brought a claim for injuries, they say, left them in pain for sometime after the accident against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) which compensates victims of uninsured drivers.

The MIBI denies their claims.

After seven of them were awarded compensation of between €3,000 and €8,500 in the Circuit Court, the MIBI appealed to the High Court.  The two who were not successful cross-appealed.   A tenth man in the bus did not put in a claim.

On the first day of the appeal hearing, Lyndsey Gervin told her own counsel, Patrick McCann, she had to "do away" with going to the gym after the accident.  She had gone to regularly before it.

When the case resumed today,  Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for the MIBI, asked that Ms Gervin be recalled as certain information about her had been learned overnight from her Facebook page.

Mr Kilfeather put it to her that an entry she made in January 2014 stating "am actually too excited about going back to workout Defo Gona b good an stick at it this time..." meant she had been at the gym since the accident.

So did further entries referring to "another night of pain lol" and about it "being worth it", Mr Kilfeather suggested to her.

Ms Gervin said it was part of her efforts to advertise her partner's gym among her friends.

Those references were a joke among the Facebook friends to get one of the girls in the group "going" because that girl was doing stuff outside the group, she said.

It did not mean she had gone back to the gym because she hadn't, she said.

"That is girly stuff, it would not interest you", she told Mr Kilfeather

Ms Gervin told her own counsel her Facebook page was supposed to be private.   Mr Kilfeather said the material had been downloaded from a public page.

In her evidence about the accident itself,  Ms Gervin said all she remembered about the car which hit them was the sound of squealing of tyres as it sped off.  She said she was completely shocked by the impact of the collision.

Five of the others who have given evidence so far also said they either did not see the car or all they knew was it might have been green in colour and there might have been two people in it.

The driver, David Morgan (40), also from Coalisland, said he could not remember anything about the accident other than he checked his mirrors and saw no cars.   

He had suffered from anxiety before the accident and, sometime after it, he had also been the victim of a terrorist incident in the North.   He on a lot of medication as a result of his condition.

Mr Morgan and Ms Gervin were among successful seven in the Circuit Court.  The others were: Deirdre Campbell (40), Joanne McGirr (35), her sister Fiona McGirr (38), Lyndsey's sister Amanda Gervin (44),  all from Coalisland, and Bernadette McBride (58), mother of Ms Campbell, from from Glasslough, Co Monaghan.

Paul Campbell (39), Deirdre Campbell's husband, and Kevin Kernaghan (43), also from Coalisland, lost in the Circuit Court and cross-appealed to the High Court.

The case resumes next week before Ms Justice Marie Baker.

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