Eight Polish people in two cars that collided in Lusk, Co Dublin, lodged personal injury claims totalling almost €500,000, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told yesterday.
When dealing with three of them in the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Groarke awarded three claimants €10,000 each and told Axa Insurance that while he did not blame the company for adopting a very defensive attitude to the cases, he was compelled, because of the honesty of witnesses, to find in their favour.
Referring to evidence by an Axa investigator, who discovered Facebook links between some of the claimants and people in the other car, he said the court was aware some people who are Facebook "friends" do not know one another.
Arkadiusz Rokicki (23), Daniel Kutszal (24) and his sister, Majal Kutszal (34), all with addresses in the village of Lusk, were injured on December 27 when they were passengers in a car driven by the defendant Dariusz Chudyk, also from Lusk, who was indemnified through his insurance policy with Axa and is now living in Poland. Barrister Paul Gallagher, counsel for the three claimants, told the court each of the plaintiffs had sustained whiplash injuries when "jolted" in the collision.
Mr Gallagher, who appeared with Robert Anderson of Anderson and Gallagher Solicitors, said each of his clients had complained of having pain in the neck and lower back.
Judge Groarke said a number of issues had been raised by Frank Martin, counsel for Axa, to test the credibility of the plaintiffs.