Sunday 17 December 2017

MMA fighter has €60,000 damages claim KO'd by YouTube evidence

Laura Lynott

An MMA fighter withdrew a €60,000 compensation claim after online footage emerged showing he won a bloody cage bout months after he claimed he was injured in a car crash.

Kamil 'The Rebel' Dudek (33) accused his elderly landlord of "rear-ending" his car in 2014.

He said he was still suffering "persistent neck and back pain" three years after the alleged incident outside his rented home.

However, the personal trainer dropped his action after a private investigator found YouTube footage showing him winning a cage fight months after the alleged collision, which his now former landlord said never happened.

A video uploaded to YouTube on December 6, 2015, showed Dudek slamming his competitor into a mat before excitedly bouncing around as a medic checked his opponent's condition.

Dudek told the Herald that such sporting prowess was possible due to the power of painkillers and had nothing to do with him telling lies.

Other footage showed him participating in the Grapple- palooza World Cup 2015 in Dublin despite claiming he had hurt his neck and back.

The Polish-born purple belt, who was prescribed Valium after the alleged incident, gained a silver medal during the event.

Yet a medical report from earlier this month showed still apparently suffered pain when bending his neck and had back tenderness.

A GP said the 13-stone, five-foot-eight patient was still mildly affected when it came to bending, kneeling and squatting or lifting and carrying.

The medical report was dated May 5 - just over three years after the alleged incident.

"There has been significant improvement in his neck and back pain, but the patient still reports intermittent pain in his back, especially when engaged in physical activities," it said.

Dudek was renting a property from Denis Power (73) for four years until his former landlord said he fell behind with the rent.

Mr Power told the Herald after the hearing that he had asked Dudek to vacate the address at Caragh Meadows, Naas, Co Kildare.

Dudek called gardai on May 1, 2014 - four days before he was scheduled to leave - alleging that Mr Power had driven into the back of his Toyota Yaris while he was cleaning the inside of the vehicle.

Naas Circuit Court heard Dudek also claimed his landlord visited the property the day before and upturned a fridge in the kitchen.

Dudek, who lived with his partner, claimed he was sitting in the 2001 car when Mr Power drove into the vehicle, causing injuries to both him and his friend Rafal Lazarek.

Both men took separate claims to court, with Mr Lazarek claiming he had neck and shoulder injuries.

Mr Power denied having driven into the car. Liberty Insurance defended the case on his behalf.

After the hearing, Mr Power said he had suffered for three years "for something I never did", but added: "I was determined the insurance company wouldn't settle with him.

"I wanted this case to go to court for it to be highlighted.

"I feel satisfied and vindicated with what has transpired. However, I feel with the law as it is that matters like this go dead unless pursued by the gardai and DPP.

"This has taken its toll on me. I wanted to get on with my life but there was that torment there all the time and it's only now I feel the relief of being free of this.

"I never did a thing wrong and these claims were totally unwarranted. All this has done has hardened my attitude to being a landlord.

"I wouldn't rent my house again. I was a good landlord and I was fair but I couldn't trust anyone to be a tenant again after this."

Dudek, now of Old Chapel Court, Caragh, Kildare, also spoke to the Herald after the hearing.

He stood by his version of events, claiming he took pain relief in order to fight after the incident.

"I'm fighting with painkillers, but I still have the injuries and that's what happened," he said.

"I never lied, but that's the decision of the court. I have a recording video [of the alleged incident].

"I don't do nothing wrong, I say all the truth but I don't want to say anything more."

Following the case, a Liberty Insurance spokesman said: "It's really positive to see recent judgments being made in instances where the evidence doesn't support a claim.

"These decisions reinforce our determination to vigorously defend claims which are of limited merit, or made in questionable circumstances, which ultimately is in the interests of our customers and policyholders."

Herald

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