Watershed Claims

Fraudulent EL Claim Defeated

J O’Reilly v Denso Marston Ltd

This accident allegedly took place in December 2007. David Wakefield investigated and handled the claim, under a delegated authority. The Claimant was found lying on the floor and alleged that a heavy bar from a machine had fallen onto him. He never returned to work.

We believed the allegations to be fraudulent, but there were no witnesses and no direct evidence of how the accident took place, if at all, was available. Like many fraudulent employers liability claims, we were not in a position to allege fraud in the defence. Instead, we investigated thoroughly and defended on the grounds that the circumstances alleged by the Claimant were, in fact impossible. We also put forward alternative circumstances in which the bar could have fallen, dependent upon the Claimant having moved it alone, in breach of procedure.

Our stance was maintained consistently in the face of much posturing and argument by the Claimant’s representatives. Three days from trial, the Claimant discontinued with order for costs in favour of the Defendant.

David Wakefield said: ‘This was a particularly satisfying result, justifying the hard line taken throughout. While this style of approach often feels more than a little risky, it is often the only way to handle a fraudulent claim when hard evidence of fraud is impossible to obtain.’

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