Sunday 18 March 2018

Facebook 'workout' post did not mean I went back to gym, woman tells court in minibus injuries case

Lyndsey Gervin leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins
Lyndsey Gervin leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A woman suing over injuries to her neck and back after a rear-ending incident has denied in the High Court that entries on her Facebook page meant she had done gym workouts since the accident.

Lyndsey Gervin (33), a mother of two from Coalisland, Co Tyrone, is one of nine people who sued for soft tissue injuries arising out of the August 2008 incident.

A car allegedly collided with the rear of the minibus the group were travelling in on their way to a night out at the dogs in Dundalk.

They claim the car left the scene immediately and no one got its registration.

The nine, including the driver, brought a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (Mibi), which compensates victims of uninsured drivers. The Mibi denies their claims.

After seven of them were awarded compensation of between €3,000 and €8,500 in the Circuit Court, the Mibi appealed to the High Court. The two who were not successful cross-appealed. A 10th man in the bus did not put in a claim.

On the first day of the appeal hearing, Lyndsey Gervin told her counsel she had to "do away" with going to the gym after the incident.

Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for the Mibi, asked that Ms Gervin be recalled as certain information about her had been learned overnight from her Facebook page.

Mr Kilfeather put it to her that an entry she made in January 2014 stating "am actually too excited about going back to workout Defo Gona b good and stick at it this time..." meant she had been at the gym since the accident. So did further entries.

Ms Gervin said it was part of her efforts to advertise her partner's gym among her friends. Those references were a joke among the Facebook friends, and it did not mean she had gone back to the gym, because she hadn't. "That is girly stuff, it would not interest you," she told Mr Kilfeather.

Ms Gervin told her counsel her Facebook page was supposed to be private. Mr Kilfeather said the material had been downloaded from a public page.

The driver, David Morgan (40), also from Coalisland, said he could not remember anything about the incident other than he saw no cars.

Mr Morgan and Ms Gervin were among the successful seven in the Circuit Court. The others were Deirdre Campbell (40), Joanne McGirr (35), her sister Fiona McGirr (38), Lyndsey's sister Amanda Gervin (44), all from Coalisland, and Bernadette McBride (58), mother of Ms Campbell, from Glasslough, Co Monaghan.

Paul Campbell (39), Deirdre Campbell's husband, and Kevin Kernaghan (43), also from Coalisland, lost in the Circuit Court and cross-appealed to the High Court. The case resumes next week.

Irish Independent

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