Brothers face legal bills after whiplash damages claims fail

Defendant, accused of rear ending van, says he was reversed into at speed near Dublin Airport

Two brothers have lost €38,000 damages claims they made for personal injuries allegedly suffered in a car crash, and are now facing hefty legal bills.

In the Circuit Criminal Court Patrick Maughan (29), unemployed, of Mourne View Park, Newry, Co Down, and Terry Maughan, unemployed, from Balbriggan, Co Dublin, sued Michael Kavanagh and also their brother and driver of the car in which they were passengers, John Maughan.

Patrick and Terry Maughan alleged they were stopped at traffic lights close to Dublin Airport, on November 4th, 2010, when Mr Kavanagh rear ended the van they were using to transport scrap for sale.

They claimed they suffered whiplash injuries.


Reversed at speed

Mr Kavanagh, of the Quarry, Carrickhill Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin denied their claims and alleged the van suddenly reversed at speed and collided with his car.

The second defendant, John Maughan, had delivered a full defence denying negligence. He was not present in court because, he now "lives in England and he travels a lot, that's our culture, we are travellers, we travel a lot," Patrick Maughan told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

Judge Groarke said he preferred Mr Kavanagh’s account of what had happened. He said he was also satisfied that Patrick Maughan had failed to disclose a previous accident.

“If I accept the account given by Mr Kavanagh, which I do, it must follow that the two plaintiffs conspired to mislead the court for the purpose of seeking and obtaining compensation. That would be rather venal,” Judge Groarke said.

He dismissed both claims under section 26 of Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004, which deals with fraudulent actions, and made an order for costs against both Patrick and Terry Maughan.