herald

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Brothers appeal ruling over 'staged' car accident in bid to win €38k claim

Martin and John Gerard Corcoran appealed the 2015 decision
Martin and John Gerard Corcoran appealed the 2015 decision

Two brothers who had their €38,000 personal injury claims thrown out in 2015 after a judge found they likely staged the accident have appealed the decision to the High Court.

Martin and John Gerard Corcoran, originally from Galway but now believed to be living at a halting site in London, had their claims dismissed in the Circuit Civil Court after the judge found Aviva Insurance's evidence about links between a Romanian group and Travellers to be "compelling".

Costs were awarded against the Corcoran brothers but they appealed the decision to the High Court, with the case this week being adjourned to July 1.

The pair alleged they were involved in a crash at a roundabout near Blanchardstown, Dublin, in July 2012.

Romanian Neagu Alexandru was alleged to have driven his Honda Civic into the back of the Ford Galaxy people carrier in which the Corcoran brothers and five of their cousins were travelling.

It is Aviva's case that the accident was fraudulently staged or had never taken place.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said that from the evidence presented by Aviva it was an inescapable conclusion there was liaison between members of the Irish Traveller and Roma communities to set up staged accidents and claims to defraud insurance companies.

Mr Groarke said there was no damage whatsoever on the Galaxy that was consistent with the damage to the Honda.

He also described Mr Alexandru as someone who is "experienced, dare I say, in fraudulent activities".

Mr Groarke said there was a "considerable question mark" about the veracity of the evidence given by the Corcoran brothers, describing parts of it as "astonishing".

The appeal process has taken close to four years and Aviva says substantial costs are being racked up defending the case.

Aviva previously applied to the court to rule that the brothers should have to provide security for the costs of an appeal should their claim be dismissed in the High Court.

However, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon ruled they were not required to provide security.

Defend

"Although this case was adjourned, Aviva will continue to defend our position despite the ongoing financial costs of doing so," said investigations manager Rob Smyth.

"Unfortunately, this is another example of where claimants simply roll the dice and appeal in anticipation of the insurance company settling their claim for smaller monies.

"This will not be happening and we will also take the necessary steps to recover our costs, and we will always leave the final decision to the courts."

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