A claims case over an allegedly fraudulent car crash, which was said to fit the pattern of six suspicious incidents, has been thrown out by a judge at the request of Zurich Insurance.
Barrister Paul McMorrow told the Circuit Civil Court that throughout the chain of apparently linked incidents, comprehensive insurance policies would be taken out only days before the crashes, followed by the disappearance of the drivers and the cars involved in the rear-ending collisions.
"The driver in the case before the court has since become untraceable, all part of a pattern of six accidents which happened in darkness . . . at T-junctions in remote locations throughout the country without any independent witnesses," Mr McMorrow told Judge Jacqueline Linnane.
Mr McMorrow, who appeared with DAC Beachcroft Dublin for Zurich Insurance, which was defending the claim on behalf of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (Mibi), said it was usual for potential defendants in these cases to quickly become untraceable.
David Culleton, a solicitor with DAC Beachcroft Dublin, said the plaintiff in the case, Lilija Timermane, had been a passenger in a car on a remote road near Portlaoise, Co Laois, three days before Christmas 2012.
Andrius Bajoras, the purported owner and driver of a 12-year-old Rover car, had crashed into the back of the car in which she was travelling.
Counsel said Mr Bajoras had purportedly taken out insurance with Zurich 26 days before the incident “for what appears to have been fraudulent purposes”.
Neither he nor the Rover had been traceable since the incident.
Mr McMorrow told the court that Ms Timermane had also failed to turn up for two examination appointments with the bureau’s medical adviser, Robert McQuillan, and had failed to deal with a notice for particulars from DAC Beachcroft Dublin.
The court heard Ms Timermane had not provided a proper address and the Department of Social Protection had "absolutely no record of her".
The address she had provided had been very similar to a non-existent address provided by Igors Jurans from Latvia, a plaintiff in a similar case, and about whom the Department of Social Protection also had no records.
The judge dismissed Ms Timermane’s claim, with costs to the Mibi.
The other cases are being investigated and may yet be abandoned by the claimants.