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A significant claim for personal injury made by a Claimant with links to the film industry was dismissed after a Judge decried his 'performance' in the witness box as "exaggeration and fabrication".
The Claimant's claim in excess of £850,000 was dismissed pursuant to Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Court Act for fundamental dishonesty. The true value of the genuine claim was valued by the Court at only £4,500.
The Court highlighted a large number of exaggerations and fabrications by the Claimant resulting in a strong rebuke from His Honour Judge Coe that "the obvious explanation for such fabrication is financial gain."
The Claimant advanced a claim of £850,000 for personal injury including substantial claims for future and past loss of earning and care totalling £780,000. The Claimant alleged he suffered from memory loss, became temperamentally volatile and had psychiatric problems as a result of the collision.
Liability for the accident was admitted by the Defendant, the insurer of the other driver. However, throughout the claim, the Defendant denied that the accident occurred as alleged. The use of surveillance also called the Claimant's credibility into question. Although not pleaded in the defence, the counter-schedule pleaded fundamental dishonesty.
Despite efforts by the Claimant's representatives to seek a ruling that the Defendant be disallowed from running such an argument, the Trial proceeded.
His Honour Judge Coe dismissed the claim pursuant to Section 57(3), recording the amount of genuine damages that would have been awarded to the Claimant to be £4,500, to be offset against the Defendant's recoverable costs.
Having considered the evidence, the Judge referred to the recent raft of authorities on the issue of fundamental dishonesty, specifically that of LOCOG v Sinfield. The Judge stated that "the question [for him] therefore is whether Mr Pinkus' fabrication and dishonesty 'substantially affects' the presentation of his claim."
The Judge found on that analysis that the Claimant's dishonesty was "close to the heart" of the claim:
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