Fraudulent claimant caught between rock and a hard place

  • Legal Development 18 January 2022 18 January 2022
  • UK & Europe

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

Clyde & Co have successfully achieved the dismissal of a employers’ liability claim valued up to £100,000.

The Claimant had alleged that he had suffered a serious hand injury when working for our client on its Sheffield site. He claimed that a rock had left a conveyor belt operating on the site and crushed his hand.

Our client provided evidence to the effect that the Claimant had been sent home from work on the morning of the alleged incident, as he was intoxicated.  In fact, the Claimant had never made it to site, and it would not have been possible for the accident to have occurred as he alleged.

In response, the Claimant vehemently denied that he had turned up for work drunk and stated he did not have an issue with alcohol.  Instead, the Claimant created an elaborate account, whereby he stated that a member of staff for our client had ordered him to lie when he was required to attend hospital. This staff member had allegedly told the Claimant to say that he had injured himself at home when building a garden wall. In recompense for this, he would be paid. 

We obtained surveillance of the Claimant drinking alcohol outside a bookmakers in the afternoon after coming straight off the plane from a trip to Slovakia to renew his passport.

Undeterred, the Claimant produced witness evidence from his son, daughter and daughter-in-law at trial in an attempt to support of his claim.

Following a two-day trial, HHJ Roberts dismissed his claim noting the Claimant’s evidence was “riddled with contradictions”.  HHJ Roberts commented that his son was a “partisan witness” and concluded that the “Claimant’s claim was fraudulent and his claim is fundamentally dishonest”.

Therefore, in addition to the dismissal of the claim, the Claimant was also held by His Honour Judge Roberts ordered to pay £40,000 towards the costs incurred in defending the claim CPR 44.16.

A spokesperson from Aspen Insurance remarked on the result saying that “Aspen are pleased a zero tolerance approach to fraud and fundamental dishonesty is bearing fruit to the benefit of all policyholders”.

Clare Davis, Legal Director at Clyde and Co. said “This was a challenging case where the Claimant persisted in his dishonesty throughout in the face of robust challenge and we are delighted that the Court found him to have been dishonest.”

Click here for the full judgment


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