Dublin woman’s injuries ‘grossly exaggerated,’ says Judge

Weekly whiplash news review: 7 days ended 7 Nov 2012:

Score one for the good guys this week: a judge has dismissed four spurious personal injury claims stemming from one Dublin woman’s road traffic accident.

Judge Matthew Deery of the Circuit Civil Court called 22 year old Fidelma McDonagh’s whiplash injury claims ‘grossly exaggerated’ in court this week, more or less throwing her claim and three others that had arisen when the taxi they had been travelling in was struck from behind by another vehicle. Based on evidence given in court, Judge Deery made the determination that the second car involved in the road traffic accident – a small Nissan – had been traveling at about 7mph and that a collision at such a speed couldn’t possibly cause neck injury to the extent that Ms McDonagh was allegedly experiencing.

Judge Deery also pointed to evidence presented by Leo Vella, a trauma specialist that initially examined Ms McDonagh’s in the wake of the accident, which occurred in August of last year, and who testified that there was no medical reason why the woman’s whiplash symptoms had persisted for so long a period of time. At the time of her initial diagnosis, Vella said Ms McDonagh could expect to have recovered in three months or less.

Ms McDonagh was also examined by Robert McQuillan, the defendant’s medical expert as well, a consultant surgeon that reported the claimant was very reluctant to co-operate with the examination. Ms McDonagh made little to no effort to move her neck and complained loud and long about her inability to rotate her back or neck, according to the consultant surgeon.

In the end, this proved too much for the judge to bear and decided against Ms McDonagh and the three other claimants in the case, which included Bernadette McDonagh from Tallaght, Angelina McDonagh from Citywest, and David McDonagh, Ms McDonagh’s husband. The initial claim, which involved an incident in which the driver of the Nissan, Adam Albogachiev, colliding with the McDonaghs’ taxi on a roundabout, was dismissed completely, with the judge ordering all four claimants to pay legal costs.

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