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  • Mohammed Sameur Rahman v Craigfort Taverns Limited Rec No 2012/1770 P

    The plaintiff in this case is a native of Bangladesh and was born in 1975. He came to Ireland in the middle of the last decade and secured employment with the defendant Craigfort Taverns Limited in the Killashee Hotel, County Kildare. He was employed there as a banqueting waiter and he also had other additional miscellaneous duties. On 27th November 2006,while in the course of his duties as a waiter, he was assisting in the kitchen area and while carrying some toast, he came in contact with some trays which, it was accepted, were negligently misplaced. He bumped into the trays, as a result of which they ended up on the floor. He stood on one of them with his right foot, which caused him to slip his left foot then came down on another tray. He had a slip and fell heavily backwards.

    Having attempted to return to work he finally gave up work, claiming that he was seriously injured complaining of constant pain, at times severe, in his lumbar back, left knee area, sometimes in his right leg, and in the earlier phases around his chest area.

    The defendant made an application under s. 26 of the Civil liability Act 2004 to dismiss the Claim
    on the grounds that the plaintiff had given false and misleading evidence in regard to his case. Therefore, if the section applied, unless the court was satisfied that for stateable reasons an injustice would be done, the Judge must dismiss the claim.

    The judge noted that this was a relatively minor incident. The plaintiff was a healthy 3l-year old and he fell backwards onto his buttocks. There was no evidence of any physical injury such as bruising or cuts. It was quite surprising that a low velocity incident of this nature in somebody of his age and state of health would produce any significant injury at all, let alone the degree to which the plaintiff claimed he had been injured. There was no physical explanation for the plaintiff`s complaints. He had every radiological and technological scan or examination that could be applied, including 3-D MRI scanning or CT scanning. None of these procedures had shown up anything.

    On three occasions in October 20th,November 20ll and February 20l2,the plaintiff was put under surveillance by a Private Investigator. He was shown getting into his motorcar, a Jeep which he purchased in 2010; doing deliveries for a number of takeaway Indian restaurants in Naas; getting into and out.of his vehicle many times; walking to his vehicle – on one occasion, jogging between it and another vehicle. He was shown going into a supermarket; going upstairs; coming out of another shop carrying large packages, shifting these from one hand to the other in order to get the keys out of his pocket. He was shown carrying bags and going down a steep slope. He was shown hoovering in Islamic Centre in Naas.

    O`Neill J was satisfied that the evidence which the plaintiff gave was grossly exaggerated. The complaints that he made were out of all proportion to any injury he could possibly have suffered in this minor incident. The judge believed that his evidence had to be regarded as false and misleading. The plaintiff had systematically mis-described his symptoms to the various doctors he had encountered. In his presentation to the court, he had continued with that process.

    O`Neill J came to the conclusion that the plaintiff set out to grossly exaggerate his claim and systematically set about doing that from the outset and had continued it all the way through, including the evidence he has given to the judge in the court. In those circumstances, he was satisfied that he should apply s. 26(1) and he dismissed the plaintiff s claim.


    This is another case where the Plaintiff would have obtained compensation because it was accepted that the Defendant was liable to the Plaintiff for the injury. Because however the Plaintiff was deemed to have exaggerated his injuries his total Claim was dismissed. While not recorded in the Judgment it is likely that the Claim was dismissed with an Order for Costs against the Plaintiff. Because this was a High Court Claim where many witnesses were involved it is likely that the legal costs exceeded €50,000.00.