Sunday 19 November 2017

Singer performed on 'The Voice' after claiming he was crippled

Elvis fan awarded €18,000 over car crash despite being 'inventive' with injuries

John McCormack outside court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix
John McCormack outside court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

Ray Managh

A musician, who appeared on a RTÉ's 'The Voice Of Ireland' while claiming he was permanently crippled in a car crash, has been awarded €18,000 in damages.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke rejected an application to throw out singer/songwriter John McCormack's personal injuries claim.

The judge felt he would be doing an injustice to Mr McCormack (65) because of a psychiatric history.

Tom Clarke, counsel for Mr McCormack, said he had been injured when an unidentified driver had twice rammed his car in a bid to overtake him on Greenfort Avenue, Clondalkin.

Mr Clarke, told the court it may have been Mr McCormack's psychiatric and depressive background that caused him to act as he did with doctors.

Frank Martin, counsel for the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland, told the Circuit Civil Court that Mr McCormack, of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, had appeared on a TV talent show and performed at gigs in Dublin after having told doctors he had been "permanently crippled". Mr Martin said his claim for damages, arising out of a road traffic incident on May 2, 2012, was Mr McCormack's "fourth visit to the well of compensation".

Robert McQuillan, consultant in emergency medicine, said when he examined Mr McCormack at Blackrock Clinic he had put on "a performance" of jerky digitalised movements of a man in severe pain.

"He told me he was permanently crippled and that if he moved it would kill him and that his back was jammed. He moved slowly with a lot of grimacing and groaning."

Mr McQuillan said he later viewed video footage taken 45 minutes after Mr McCormack had left his clinic by a private detective on behalf of the MIBI, which showed him walking upright without a stick.

Mr McQuillan told the court Mr McCormack had been "grossly inventive" of his symptomatology and condition.

Professor John McIlwaine said he had seen Mr McCormack on behalf of the Injuries Board and clinically it had not been possible to examine him.

He had later watched McCormack's RTÉ performance.

"He was holding the microphone in his right hand, able to walk around and hyper-extend his leg. I didn't get the impression he was in significant pain," Prof McIlwaine said.

Mr McCormack said his car had been written off after the ramming incident. He said Elvis Presley and Engelbert Humperdinck were his heroes.

Awarding him €18,000 damages, Judge Groarke said Mr McCormack had given false and misleading evidence to medical staff at almost every turn, but felt under the circumstances, and due to his "psychiatric condition", it would be unreasonable to dismiss his case.

Irish Independent

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