€60k claimant tells court, 'Accident is my middle name'
A jobless man has withdrawn a €60,000 damages claim arising from a traffic accident after a judge told him to stop "ducking and diving" when questioned about previous incidents.
Judge Terence O'Sullivan had told Paul Gorman (39), of Owensilla, Ballymun, Dublin, that 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 Mr Gorman about claims he had brought previously and had not disclosed in a questionnaire regarding previous accidents.
"Accident is my middle name," Mr Gorman told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday.
However, he added that despite having suffered breakages to "every bone in my body", he had not always pursued claims or taken actions to court.
Mr Kearney, who appeared for AXA Insurance customers Sharon Crichlow and Jude Ikuenobe, told Mr 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 mishap, 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Following brief talks between the parties, Mr Kearney said the claim against AXA's clients had been withdrawn.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 Mr Gorman.
He told Mr Gorman's legal team that 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," the judge said.
"It is important for a plaintiff in any case to make full disclosure of accidents they were involved in."
Following the case, AXA fraud investigation manager Colm Featherstone welcomed the outcome and said it was vindication for the very strong position the company always takes in claims of this nature.