Taxi-driver made eight personal injury claims in eight years, court hears

Chengduo Zhu failed to dislose most of the claims made since 2007 to insurers

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A 36-year-old Co Dublin taxi driver has made eight personal injury claims in as many years and failed to disclose most of them to insurers, the Circuit Civil Court has heard.

Chengduo Zhu, of The Paddocks Way, Lucan, had revealed to Axa that he had made three claims, two of which had been settled for figures of €30,000 in 2009 and €20,000 in 2013. Others had either been settled or were still ongoing, barrister Conor Kearney said.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor Solicitors for Axa, told Judge Terence O’Sullivan on Friday that while Zhu was withdrawing the €60,000 claim before the court he had been specifically directed to outline Axa’s proposed defence to Zhu’s latest claim.

“I have in court representatives from other insurance companies, Zurich, AIG, Liberty and RSA who were going to give evidence in relation to his undisclosed claims,” Mr Kearney said.

“The plaintiff has had in the last eight years eight claims for personal injury, some ongoing, and has disclosed only three,” he told the court.

When Zhu’s claim was called Friday his counsel told the court the case was being withdrawn and it was understood that costs would follow. He said the nature and details of the defendant’s defence had not previously been disclosed to his client.

Judge O’Sullivan said it was a serious matter for the court and Mr Zhu would have to bear the costs. He dismissed Zhu’s claim and said the court had no doubt whatsoever that both counsel for Zhu and the instructing solicitor had followed correct professional practice in the case.

Zhu had sued the owner and also the driver of another taxi, both represented by Axa Insurance, Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin, for €60,000 in relation to a collision to the front passenger side of his taxi in O’Connell Street on 18th May 2014.

He had alleged the other taxi had broken a red light and Judge O’Sullivan heard that liability had been conceded by AXA but the insurance company would be disputing certain elements of what had become an assessment of damages.

Zhu alleged in his claim that following the accident he was shocked and suffered injuries to his neck and back and had attended his GP. He claimed to have pain in both sides of his neck and pain at his waist region, suffering shoulder and neck spasms. He was stiff and restricted in movement and had been prescribed analgesia and muscle relaxant.

Zhu had stated in his Civil Bill that he had suffered similar injuries in the 2009 accident but these had been fully recovered when his taxi had been hit in O’Connell Street. He had also injured his neck and right shoulder in the 2013 accident.

Judge O’Sullivan dismissed Zhu’s claim and made an order against him for the legal costs of the case.

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