Friday 26 May 2017

'I realised some claims were fraudulent' - Businessman Pat McDonagh on how 'Supermacs' battled 'compo-culture'

'Of course you’re going to have accidents in business; that’s just part of life, but I realised that some of them were fraudulent'

Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s
Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s

Bairbre Ní Bhraonain

A resurgence of fake accident claims is ongoing in Ireland, according to popular self-made businessman and founder of Supermacs Pat McDonagh.

Speaking on The Late Late Show, McDonagh told Ryan Tubridy that in the past, his chain of fast-food outlets had been inundated with phony accident claims until he decided to install cameras to catch the conmen red-handed.

Mc Donagh said: "Back 12 or 14 years ago at this stage, we were inundated with insurance claims and I used to go to work in the morning more concerned about what solicitor’s letter was coming in or whatever. 

"I realised that some of them were totally fraudulent. 

"Of course you’re going to have accidents in business; that’s just part of life, but I realised that some of them were fraudulent and some exaggerated," he continued.

"So, we had to put in video cameras into the units to try and prevent the claims."

To illustrate the situation Mr McDonagh found himself in, Ryan Tubridy ran some security footage taken in a Supermacs’ outlet.

CCTV footage of the interior of a Supermac’s toilet was played showing three men staging an accident by first throwing water from the sink onto the floor so that one of them could then slip dramatically on it.

An ambulance was then called and paramedics had to deal with the injured party. 

When the case went to court, however, the footage was produced and it curtailed the number of similar set-ups in McDonagh’s restaurants.

However, McDonagh warned that due to several factors, including increased liability payouts by the courts, the 'compo-culture' is beginning to raise its ugly head in Ireland again.

McDonagh said of the recent resurgence in claims: “In relation to District Courts, [they] have increased the awards from €6,200 to €15,000 and the Circuit Court has gone from €38,000 up to €75,000. 

"So it’s an ongoing issue.”

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