Thursday, March 09, 2023

Ray Managh

A judge has told a 37-year-old Co Dublin fruit farm supervisor that he considered a rear-ending accident in which he was involved had been staged.

Judge James McCourt, throwing out a €60,000 damages claim by Kamil Losik, said Losik may not have been one of an inner circle of people involved in staging accidents but knew, or ought to have known, that the crash in which he claimed to have been injured had been staged.

“There was an outer ring of people known to each other, at least loosely, through their geographical location in north county Dublin or through their background or through their places of work,” Judge McCourt said in the Circuit Civil Court.

After Judge McCourt dismissed Losik’s claim, three other Polish men who had been passengers in Losik’s car – Artur Kozlowski, Bartlomiej Wawrzyniak and Tomasz Szczepanski, with addresses in Swords,- and who, between them, had been claiming damages totalling €180,000, withdrew their claims.

Their cases were not heard by the court and no findings, apart from noting the withdrawal of their cases, had been made against them.

Delivery job

The four men, seeking a total of quarter of a million euro, including special damages, had sued National Retrofit & Construction Services Limited, Laraghcon, Lucan, Co Dublin; one of its then drivers Damien McEvoy, of Kilmore, Enfield, Co Meath, and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. National Retrofit claimed McEvoy, at the late evening time of the accident, had not been authorised to drive its van in a delivery job for a friend.

Barrister Paul McMorrow, who appeared with David Culleton of Mason Hayes and Curran Solicitors for National Retrofit and the bureau, successfully applied for Losik’s passengers to remain outside the court while his case was being dealt with and Judge McCourt directed they surrender their phones to their solicitors.

Mr McMorrow said McEvoy had not chosen to participate in the case and was not represented. A defence, alleging that the accident had been staged, had been entered on behalf of Zurich Insurance Plc, insurers of Retrofit’s van.

Losik, of Cianlea, Swords, claimed the van had rear ended his car at Applewood Village Green roundabout at Broadmeadow, Swords in February 2017.

Judge McCourt, dismissing Losik’s claim, said his historical recollection had been evasive and any admissions secured had been slow in forthcoming.

“I am of the view (the accident) was staged and that Mr Losik knew or ought to have known that it was,” Judge McCourt said. “He is an unreliable witness and I don’t believe him.” He made an order for costs against Losik.

When Mr McMorrow asked for a costs order against Damien McEvoy, Judge McCourt said there was no reality in it. “You have done a good job for your clients,” the judge said.

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