Three men drop €180,000 whiplash case following incident on M50
Motor insurers continue their battle against personal injury claims arising from low-impact traffic collisions.
Allianz Insurance recorded a successful defence of whiplash claims by three Lithuanian men which could have cost the company a payout of €180,000 in damages and a potential costs and expenses bill of €50,000.
The incident happened on the M50 at rush hour when traffic was bumper to bumper and any collision would be absolutely minimal, according to barrister Shane English, counsel for Allianz.
Judge Patrick Quinn rose for a few minutes and when he returned to the bench the court heard that Robertas Byla, Mangtas Klova and Andrius Janulaitis had decided to withdraw their claims. They were also prepared to make a contribution to the insurer's costs.
Mr Byla (44) and Mr Janulaitis (42), both of Castlepark Drive, Maynooth, Co Kildare, and Mr Klova (42) of Barnwell Place, Ongar, Dublin 15, all self-employed contractors, were in a Volkswagen Passat on the M50 when a Ford Fiesta car collided with the back of it.
The three men pleaded in their proceedings that each had "sustained soft-tissue injuries to neck and lower back, in addition to psychological trauma as a result of the incident". Mr English said medical reports provided in two of the cases were "word for word identical".
After Mr Byla, the driver of the Passat, had given evidence of being rear-ended by the defendants, Dutchman Erik Theo Adriaan Norberhuis and Allianz-insured driver Fiona Reilly, he told Mr English he had received an estimate for damage to the Passat of €1,794, plus VAT.
"You no longer have the car and you never had it fixed," Mr English told him. Mr English said an assessment for Allianz put the repair of the Passat at €549, including VAT, less than a third of Mr Byla's estimate.
Mr English asked Byla another question regarding the accident, and it was answered directly by an interpreter who gave Mr Byla no time to reply.
Judge Quinn intervened and said the court was interested in answers from Mr Byla. He said he would rise for a few minutes.
Mr English soon returned with information for the court that all three €60,000 claims were being withdrawn with agreement to contribute towards Allianz's costs.
Mr Janulaitis and Mr Klova withdrew their claims without getting into the witness box to give evidence. Liability for the collision had been conceded by the defendants.