Claimant trips up at trial

Article

06 October, 2015

12-13 August - Tameside County Court

Tameside MBC

In this highway tripping claim, the Claimant's witness evidence unravelled as it was revealed by the Claimant in a lengthy cross examination that his witness statement omitted to mention he was with someone at the time of the accident, a female who was not his girlfriend. This was not the only inaccuracy to come out in the witness box.

The Claimant's witness statement was incorrect in material ways, such as his age, his partner and the ages of their children, and most significantly, the witness statement stated that he was working at the time of the accident. The Claimant conceded in evidence that he was unemployed having walked out on his job some time prior to the accident, despite submitting a considerable claim for loss of earnings.

Forbes also used Facebook postings as evidence to discredit the Claimant. Despite alleging ongoing medical problems as a result of the accident, online posts suggested that he had attended intense gym sessions, planned to participate in the notoriously strenuous Tough Mudder event and there was even a photograph of him using an arm wrestling machine.

In his final Judgment, the Judge accepted that on the balance of probabilities the Claimant had tripped and fallen whilst crossing a road, although he did not find that the trip occurred at a crossing point. He recognised that the road was in a poor condition, but he did not feel that it was dangerous. In addition, he was not satisfied that the Claimant had shown that he had tripped on the defect alleged, commenting that following the accident he was in pain and his first concern was to seek assistance. He did not attend the scene to take photographs until days later and stated that it was likely that the Claimant saw the worst defect and considered that this was what had caused his fall.

The Judge found that the Claimant had not made out his case and in any event the Defendant had a proper system of inspection and dismissed the claim.

Forbes comment

A thorough and detailed investigation into the Claimant's background enabled us to discredit the claimant's evidence at trial. A forensic review of the Claimant's employment history, DWP records and social media accounts together with the claimant's own revelations in the witness box contributed to the successful defence of the claim.

For further information please contact Elizabeth Bower by email or on 01254 662831.

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