Exaggerated & Fraudulent Claims: New Beginnings?

An analysis of the recent Court of Appeal judgment: Platt v. OBH Luxury Accommodation Limited & Anor [2017] IECA 221.


On 28 July 2017 Ms. Justice Irvine in the Court of Appeal delivered her Judgment in the case of Platt v OBH Luxury Accommodation Limited & Anor [2017] IECA 221 (hereinafter "Platt"). The case was an appeal of the decision of Barton J. in the High Court from June 2015, wherein Barton J. was satisfied that the Plaintiff had intentionally misled the court and exaggerated his injuries and so he utilised the jurisdiction conferred on him by s. 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004 ("the 2004 Act") in dismissing the Plaintiff's case.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court and in so doing has given further insight into how the courts will apply s. 26 of the 2004 Act and what exactly constitutes an intentionally fraudulent claim.

Section 26 Explained

Section 26 of the 2004 Act prohibits plaintiffs from knowingly giving evidence that is false or misleading. If an application under s. 26 is successful, the plaintiff's claim is dismissed, even if there is liability on the part of the defendants, save for where the court considers that a dismissal would result in an injustice.

Background to case

The Plaintiff, Mr Jason Platt, sustained life threatening injuries in 2009 when he fell from a windowsill in a room in the defendant's hotel. He suffered severe injuries to his ribs, spine and hip. Through sworn affidavits and testimony submitted by the Plaintiff before the High Court, Mr. Platt had presented himself as a man who was in chronic pain and severely incapacitated by the injuries sustained from the fall. Mr. Platt had also sworn an affidavit verifying a schedule of special damages and future loss claiming almost £1.5 million.

High Court Decision

Despite finding the Defendants 60% liable, Barton J. dismissed the Plaintiff's claim after reviewing video evidence of the Plaintiff submitted by the Defendants. This video evidence showed the Plaintiff regularly driving, going shopping, carrying groceries, closing his boot and walking unaided. This evidence was in stark contrast to the presentation of the Plaintiff to the Court of a man profoundly disabled as a result of his injuries with the Plaintiff giving evidence himself to the effect that he was compelled to mobilise using either crutches, a wheelchair or a commode.

Court of Appeal decision

Dismissing the Appeal, Irvine J said of the Plaintiff...

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