Monday, July 25, 2022

Ray Managh

A 33-year-old fitness instructor, who claimed she injured her back in a fall down steps in a shopping centre, posted pictures of herself engaged in extreme physical activities online following the incident, a judge heard on Monday.

Judge Sarah Berkeley in the Circuit Civil Court dismissed Kimberly Hynes’s €60,000 damages claim for personal injuries against the owner of Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, where she said she had slipped on a wet stairs and bumped down three steps.

“I don’t believe her GP knew she was engaged in these activities, and on the basis of the medical evidence of her own doctor she has exaggerated her injuries in court,” Judge Berkeley said.

She threw out Ms Hynes’s case and awarded legal costs against her.

Judge Berkeley said what appeared in a medical report by Dr Yvonne Rafter was not consistent with activities Ms Hynes had posted on her Instagram account and which she had confirmed in evidence during cross-examination.

The court was shown pictures and videos of Ms Hynes taken from Instagram showing her exercising on a trampoline, jumping from a stand-still position onto tyres and doing walks at the Hell Fire Club and on Bray Head, among other activities.

Ms Hynes, of Mountainview Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, told the court that in January 2016 she had been walking down wet steps to the car park at Nutgrove Shopping Centre, where she worked as a fitness instructor, when she fell.

She said she had been shocked and embarrassed and felt pain in her lower back and elbow.

When the pain became worse she said she went to her doctor 10 days afterward the incident and had been referred for X-rays.

She underwent a number of physiotherapy sessions and, after several months, she alleged she had to give up her work as a fitness instructor and work as a secretary for a year. She told the court she later returned to working as a fitness instructor, which continues to be her occupation.

Ms Hynes said she had always been very fit and had engaged in the hobbies as outlined to the court from her Instagram account prior to the accident. As well as undergoing physiotherapy, she had been advised to exercise, she said.

On behalf of the defendant, Hurley Property Icav, it was suggested the extreme activities she had engaged in were not consistent with someone who had been suffering back pain.

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