Men with 20-year history of claims have ‘grossly exaggerated’ case thrown out

‘Most unfortunate’ quartet misled court about car incident in Granard, Co Longford

 Edward Stokes, of The Cottage, Ferskill, Coolarthy, Co Longford. File photograph: Collins

Edward Stokes, of The Cottage, Ferskill, Coolarthy, Co Longford. File photograph: Collins

 

Four men, who received tens of thousands of euro in compensation over the past 20 years, put together a “grand scheme” to falsely “pocket” a personal injury claim, a judge said on Thursday.

Dismissing each of their claims for up to €60,000 in Tullamore Circuit Court and awarding legal costs against them, Judge Karen Fergus said all four men had “grossly exaggerated” their claims and had knowingly misled the court about a single car incident in Granard, Co Longford, in 2015.

Judge Fergus said she would have expected the men to know what is required when they speak to solicitors and doctors, given the number of their previous compensation claims. None of their previous claims had come before a court.

Bad beans

The judge said the men seemed to be “most unfortunate” given the number of incidents that had befallen them in recent years.

The court heard evidence they had received tens of thousands of euro between them in out-of-court settlements for earlier traffic accidents and matters such as the purchase of a bad tin of beans.

Brothers Brendan Leddy and James Leddy, of Granard, Co Longford, as well as cousins Edward Stokes and Michael Stokes jnr, of Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, had been passengers in a car driven by Brendan Leddy’s wife, Emma O’Keeffe, when it hit a stone wall or ditch in a lane in Granard on January 25th, 2015.

False and misleading

All four men brought claims against Ms O’Keeffe’s insurance company which was fully defended. They gave varying accounts of how the accident happened.

Counsel for the defence, Keith O’Grady, applied to have each of their claims dismissed as false and misleading.

Judge Fergus said she did not believe the accident happened as alleged or that the men sustained the level of injuries claimed. “Despite their description of the impact when the car hit a wall, not one of them had a scratch, cut, bruise or broken bone.”

Judge Fergus said she was “entirely satisfied” this was a “grand scheme put together” by the men with the aim of “pocketing compensation”.

“All of their complaints were typical of injuries alleged in these types of cases which are almost impossible for doctors to discount.”