Wednesday 17 July 2019

Brothers appeal to High Court after judge rules car crash 'likely staged'


Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said the families had liaised. Picture: Collins
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said the families had liaised. Picture: Collins
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Two brothers who had their €38,000 personal injury claims thrown out in 2015 after a judge found they were likely to have been involved in a staged accident have appealed the decision to the High Court.

Martin and John Gerard Corcoran, originally from Galway but now believed to be living at a halting site in London, had their claims dismissed in the Circuit Civil Court after the judge found Aviva Insurance's evidence about links between a Romanian group and Travellers to be "compelling".

Costs were awarded against the brothers, but they later appealed the decision to the High Court. The case was adjourned this week to July 1.

The appeal process has taken almost four years, and Aviva said substantial costs were being racked up defending the case.

The pair alleged they were involved in a crash at a roundabout near Blanchardstown in Dublin in July 2012.

Romanian Neagu Alexandru was alleged to have driven his Honda Civic into the back of the Ford Galaxy people carrier in which the Corcoran brothers and five of their cousins were travelling.

It is Aviva's case that the accident was fraudulently staged, or had never taken place.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said that from the evidence presented by Aviva, it was an inescapable conclusion there was liaison between members of the Irish Traveller and Roma communities to set up staged accidents and claims to defraud insurance companies.

Mr Groarke said there was no damage whatsoever on the Galaxy which was consistent with the damage to the Honda.

He also described Mr Alexandru as someone who was "experienced, dare I say, in fraudulent activities".

Mr Groarke said there was a "considerable question mark" about the veracity of the evidence given by the Corcoran brothers, describing parts of it as "astonishing".

Aviva previously applied to the court to rule that the brothers should have to provide security for the costs of an appeal should their claim be dismissed. However, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon ruled they were not required to provide security for costs.

"Although this case was adjourned, Aviva will continue to defend our position, despite the ongoing financial costs of doing so," said Rob Smyth, investigations manager. "Unfortunately, this is another example of where claimants simply roll the dice and appeal in anticipation of the insurance company settling their claim for smaller monies."

Irish Independent

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