Wednesday 21 March 2018

Brothers allegedly behind staged traffic accident scam will not have to provide security for costs of appeal

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Stock Picture

Tim Healy

Two brothers who a judge said were behind a staged traffic accident scam will not have to provide security for the costs of an appeal against a decision rejecting their claim for damages arising out of the alleged accident.

Martin and John Gerard Corcoran, originally from Galway and now living in a London, sued Neagu Alexandru, from Romania, over a collision at a roundabout near Blanchardstown in July 2012.  

The Corcorans and five of their cousins, all with addresses near the brothers' address of Lynton Close halting site in London, claimed against Mr Alexandru and his insurer, Aviva, for personal injuries arising out of the accident.

Dismissing the action brought by the two Corcorans, president of the Circuit Court, Judge Raymond Groarke held in July 2015 the accident was fraudulently staged by the brothers.

He also commented that a Romanian group was linked to Travellers in Ireland in the scam in order to mount personal injury claims.

The Corcorans lodged an appeal but Aviva then sought that they first put up a sum of money to cover costs should they also lose the appeal. Costs had been awarded against them in the Circuit Court.

Aviva argued the Corcorans reside outside the jurisdiction and may be able to evade any order for costs made against them. The brothers opposed Aviva's application.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon ruled the Corcorans were not required to provide security. She said part of the test for making such orders was the claimant must live outside the jurisdiction but as as Irish court orders can be readily enforced within EU states, the Aviva application for security fell at the first hurdle.

She rejected the argument that the security for costs issue should be adjourned in light of the uncertainty surrounding the UK's position in the EU. The court must evaluate matters before it on the law as it stands and not "with an eye to hypothetical scenarios".

She refused to grant a security for costs order. She also awarded the costs for the Aviva security application to the Corcorans.

After counsel for Aviva asked that a stay be put on her costs order, she further adjourned the matter to next week to allow the court be provided with information as to whether there was a stay on costs in the Circuit Court, pending appeal.

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