A former amateur boxer’s €60,000 damages claim has been dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court after a judge told him he had “purposefully sought to mislead doctors and the court” about having been unable to box after having been involved in a car crash.
Michael Kelly (29) of Ash Park Court, Lucan, Co Dublin, had told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that in October 2014 he had been walking into Lucan Village when a car driven by Rosemarie Bond of Cannonbrook Park, Lucan, Co Dublin had pulled up beside him.
Kelly said there had been three other passengers in the car with Ms Bond and that he had taken a lift into the village with her as he knew one of the passengers. He said he had got into the back seat and that shortly afterwards Ms Bond had rear-ended a car, causing him to strike his head.
He told the court he was not sure how the collision had occurred as he had been looking down at his phone. Kelly said that he had to be cut from the vehicle by the fire brigade as the door beside him could not be opened and he had been told not to climb out.
Kelly said he had been taken to Connolly Hospital by ambulance as he had pain in his neck and back and could feel shards of his teeth to the rear of his mouth.
Under cross-examination by defence barrister Conor Kearney, Mr Kelly said the impact had not been a minor one as far as he was concerned. He did not know why no-one else involved in the incident had made a claim.
Mr Kearney, who appeared with Howard Synnott Solicitors, said “a trawl of social media” had led the defence team to footage of Mr Kelly on Facebook taking part in boxing, even though he had told doctors that the only sport he had taken part in since the accident was swimming.
Kelly denied he had been deceptive and that after the accident he had only been able to take part in boxing training but had been unable to compete.
Forensic engineer Pat Culleton, who had examined both cars involved in the collision, said it would not have been possible for the impact to have caused Mr Kelly’s injuries but it was possible they could have been caused by Ms Bond suddenly applying her brakes in an emergency.
Judge Groarke said the injury to Mr Kelly’s back teeth was “curious” and the court had not been provided with any dental evaluation to explain how this injury might have occurred. A medical report in which Mr Kelly was stated to have said he had almost achieved full recovery six weeks after the accident meant there had been an issue of accuracy in his evidence.
Mr Kelly had lied when he said he did not take part in much physical activity. If Mr Kearney had not brought Facebook videos to the attention of the court there would never have been a word from Mr Kelly about the exercise he had taken part in.
Dismissing Mr Kelly’s claim, and awarding Ms Bond and RSA Insurance their legal costs, Judge Groarke said Mr Kelly had “purposefully sought to mislead doctors and the court.”