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Saturday 17 August 2019

Compo culture: The extraordinary images that show how businesses are targeted by insurance claimants

13:07:50: Subject photographs area
13:07:50: Subject photographs area
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

SUPERMAC'S founder Pat McDonagh has released CCTV of an incident where a customer photographed a wet bathroom floor and then appears to stage a fall.

CCTV recordings show the man walking into the bathroom and photographing an area of the ground covered in the water. He then leaves the bathroom and returns minutes later, when he appears to slip and fall. The man can be seen grabbing his head and knocking on the door looking for assistance in the footage.

13:09:08: Subject corresponds with 2nd party
13:09:08: Subject corresponds with 2nd party

Towards the end of the video, he wriggles forward and continues to lie on the ground.

The incident happened at a branch in the midlands in October. In November, Supermac's received a solicitor's letter advising how the man in question intended to bring a personal injury claim. "We are instructed by our client that he was caused to fall due to the condition of the floor of the men's toilets in your premises and as a consequence thereof suffered injuries, loss and damage," the letter reads.

The solicitor representing the claimant later told the Irish Independent that they have requested to view the CCTV footage and it has not yet been furnished and they will consult with their client on the matter.

Mr McDonagh hit out at how claims like this are allowed to come before the courts and said there is no incentive to defend them as "even if you win, you lose".

13:09:20: Subject returns to the area
13:09:20: Subject returns to the area

No formal proceedings have yet been issued, but the Supermac's CEO said he is already paying the price for the initial legal letter.

"Even at this early stage there will be a cost as once an incident happens you are required to notify the insurance company. And no matter what the outcome is it will have an impact on your premium," he said.

Mr McDonagh, an outspoken critic of Ireland's 'compo culture', revealed there are currently 73 personal injury claims pending against outlets across the country - and has vowed to defend those he believes to be exaggerated.

Despite racking up hefty legal bills, Mr McDonagh says he will continue the fight.

13:09:22: Subject appears to slip and fall
13:09:22: Subject appears to slip and fall

The businessman has previously defended the decision to install cameras in Supermac's bathrooms. "We are safeguarding our own business. The camera is never in a compromising position."

Irish Independent

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