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Man who told judge 'accident is my middle name' withdraws €60k damages claim

The court did not criticise the man’s legal team.

File
File
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A 39-YEAR-OLD man has withdrawn a €60,000 damages claim arising from a road traffic accident after a judge told him to stop “ducking and diving” when questioned about previous accidents.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan had told Paul Gorman, of Owensilla, Ballymun, Dublin, he would have to bring an end to the trial very quickly if he did not give answers to questions he was being asked.

Barrister Conor Kearney had been persistent in a cross-examination of Gorman about claims he had brought previously and had not disclosed in a questionnaire regarding previous accidents.

“Accident is my middle name,” Gorman told the Circuit Civil Court but added that despite having suffered breakages to every bone in his body he had not always made claims or taken claims to court.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor solicitors for AXA Insurance customers Sharon Crichlow and Jude Ikuenobe, told Gorman he was deliberately avoiding answers to questions about claims he had settled outside of court and his criminal record.

Each time Mr Gorman told the court he had no other accidents, Mr Kearney would raise details of yet another accident, claim or settlement he had been involved in.

Judge O’Sullivan told him while in the witness box: “This has gone on far enough. I am going to give you an opportunity to talk to your barrister and the court will sit again in five minutes.”

Following brief talks between the parties in the corridor Mr Kearney said the claim against AXA’s clients had been withdrawn. Judge O’Sullivan struck out the case and awarded the insurance company its legal costs against Gorman.

Judge O’Sullivan told Gorman’s legal team the court had no criticism of his solicitor and counsel.

“Your client has stated in the witness box that his middle name was accident and that has been borne out in the evidence. It is important for a plaintiff in any case to make full disclosure of accidents they were involved in,” the judge said.

Following the case Mr Colm Featherstone, Fraud Investigation Manager for the insurance company, said AXA welcomed the outcome and saw it as a vindication for the very strong position the company always took in claims of this nature.

“We will continue to do so in order to protect our honest policy holders,” he said.

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