Monday 15 July 2019

Judge tells three men that crash 'so entirely improbable' it couldn't have happened

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Ray Managh

A judge has told three men that a car crash in which they claimed to have been injured was so entirely improbable it could not possibly have happened.

Throwing out the personal injury claims being made for damages for €60,000 each by Hakim Rahali, Ismail Boudersaya and Riad Siali, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groark told them the damage to two cars had not been caused by the accident the court was being asked to consider.

“This is a try on which took quite a considerable amount of work to set up and which has failed,” Judge Groarke told them when ordering them pay Axa insurance company’s legal costs for the work it had put into investigating the alleged collision.

Riad Siali, after having listened to the cross-examination of BMW driver Hakim Rahali by barrister Adrianne Fields, left the court and was not available when called to give evidence on his own behalf.

The court heard that he was vomiting in the men’s room and unable to come out to give evidence.  Several hours later, when Judge Groarke was giving judgment against Siali and his co-claimants he asked if Siali “was still locked in the facilities.”

“Maybe he has been sick but he is really better off not giving evidence in this case,” the judge said.

Ms Fields, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor solicitors, told Judge Groarke at the outset that Axa was disputing that the March 2012 accident near Duleek, Co Meath, had taken place at all or as described in the evidence put before the court.

Hakim Rahali and Ismail Boudersaya, both of Mount Pleasant Avenue, Dublin 6, told the court Rahali’s BMW had been crashed into head-on by a Seat Ibiza driven by Ovidiu Luchi, Mount Symon Crescent, Blanchardstown, Dublin, and both, due to whiplash injuries, had to be taken from the car by ambulance attendants. Judgment had already been obtained against Luchi.

Garda Pat Buckley, then of Laytown Garda Station but now attached to Fermoy Station, said when he arrived at the alleged crash he immediately became suspicious as the damage to both cars did not seem to fit.  He seized both vehicles and had them forensically examined by a colleague.

Garda Joe Doyle, PSV Inspector for Co Meath, told the court the damage was not consistent with a head-on crash and he could not find any evidence of paint or rubber transfer on either vehicle from one to the other.

“I absolutely don’t believe these cars crashed into each other,” he said.

Judge Groarke said he had been greatly impressed with the honest evidence of hotel worker, Ms Camelia Hutanu, who told him she had been a back seat passenger in the Seat and who, though injured, had not made any claim.  “I prefer to work to earn my money.  I don’t look for easy money,” she told the court.

The judge said he believed Ms Hutanu, and that being so, he had to conclude she had been injured while a passenger in the Seat in another crash on another occasion.

Dismissing the claims by all three plaintiffs, Judge Groarke said he was awarding costs against all of them and referring them for consideration of the Garda Siochana at Laytown, Co Meath.

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