Zumba instructor awarded €7,500 over back pain despite dance video
A Zumba dance instructor, who told a court she still had lower back pain two years after a minor road traffic accident, was depicted on Facebook leading vigorous and energetic dance classes after the accident.
Conor Kearney, counsel for Axa Insurance and one of its insured customers, said accountant Victoria Paiva was telling the Circuit Civil Court she had significant injuries, was unable to move properly, had to get her children to help with housework and still had pain while at the same time running Zumba classes.
Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, rejected the suggestion she had lied about her injuries and said he was not convinced she had tried to mislead the court.
Ms Paiva, a Ukraine national who lives at Fortlawn Park, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, had sued Daytona Heavy Haulage Limited and its driver Shane Pearson for €60,000 damages for personal injuries caused by a Daytona articulated truck striking the side of her car.
Awarding her €7,500 damages, Judge Groarke said Ms Paiva had attended a doctor in October 2016 only a few weeks after she had participated in energetic and strenuous Zumba sessions.
Judge Groarke said that following that visit the doctor had recorded her physical reaching as moderately affected; lifting and carrying moderately affected; minor restrictions on her bending and squatting and her sitting severely affected.
"I have difficulty in seeing how a person who had been Zumba dancing only a few weeks before that medical examination can be the same person as described in the medical report," Judge Groarke said.
The judge told barrister Alastair Rutherdale, who appeared with McKeever Solicitors for Ms Paiva, that he accepted her evidence that she had been stopped on a roundabout when the lorry struck her car.
He said it had been a relatively modest impact between the two vehicles and, while Ms Paiva was not responsible, that there had been considerable confusion regarding the degree of injuries claimed.