Monday 15 October 2018

Driver who sued over alleged crash hit with legal bill

Saulius Smaleckas claimed he had been injured in a crash. Picture: Courtpix
Saulius Smaleckas claimed he had been injured in a crash. Picture: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A father of two who claimed he had been injured when his car was rear-ended will now face a legal costs bill after he withdrew his High Court action.

The move comes after counsel for the Motor Insurer's Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) suggested to Saulius Smaleckas (42) his case falls in to a pattern where insurance companies have noticed policies are purchased for a small sum of money and an accident happens soon afterwards.

Kieran Fleck SC said the person Mr Smaleckas said was driving was a woman who gave an address but could not be traced.

Counsel also put it to Mr Smaleckas the pattern was the same as a number of Circuit Court cases involving others and a female driver and which were dismissed. Mr Smaleckas said he did not know.

Asked if he knew the woman driver in this case could not be traced, Mr Smaleckas said he knew from his solicitor.

Mr Smaleckas, originally from Lithuania, of Ashbrook Manor, Cavan, Co Cavan, had sued the driver of the other car in the accident on December 26, 2013 - a Claire Hickey, with an address at Rathgar Road, Rathmines, Co Dublin, but who cannot be traced.

It was also against James Kelly, Walkinstown Park, Walkinstown, Dublin, the alleged owner of the car allegedly driven by Ms Hickey, and against the MIBI, which compensates victims of uninsured driving, because Ms Hickey has not been traced.

At the outset of the case, Mr Justice David Keane was told Ms Hickey had given her details to Mr Smaleckas at the time of the alleged accident.

It was Mr Smaleckas's case that he understood Ms Hickey was insured.

The claims were denied by the MIBI and Mr Kelly who further said he had sold the car alleged to have been involved for €300 for parts to a man who represented himself as a car dealer.

Mr Justice Keane was told the defendants further contended Mr Smaleckas's claim was fraudulent or set up.

In evidence, Mr Smaleckas said he had been offered €80 by two Lithuanian men to bring them to Dublin Airport.

He said he had met the men the night before. He told the court he was near the airport and was at a stop sign checking if it was safe to proceed, when Ms Hickey's car bumped in to the back of his.

She gave him a piece of paper with her phone number, car registration and insurance policy number.

Pain

Afterwards, he dropped the two men at the airport and drove back to Cavan.

He later went to hospital and the next day to his GP.

He had pain in his neck, back and knee. He said he was not able to work for four months.

Cross-examined by Mr Fleck SC, for the MIBI and Mr Kelly, Mr Smaleckas said he did not see the two men he dropped at the airport again. He said one was called Mantas and the other Aurelius but he did not have their second names.

When the case resumed in the afternoon, Mr Justice Keane was told Mr Smaleckas was withdrawing his claim. Costs were awarded to the defendants.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News