Shelly-Morriss –v- Bus Atha Cliath, Supreme Court 2003.
The Plaintiff had been involved in an accident while on a bus and, as a result, had sustained injuries. As part of her proceedings subsequently brought, the Plaintiff submitted a claim for loss of earnings. At the Trial in the High Court, it emerged by way of video evidence that the Plaintiff’s injuries were not as serious as originally thought and had in fact been exaggerated.
The High Court awarded €219,000.00 in damages with a reduction made for contributory negligence. The Defendant’s Appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that a finding of only 25% contributory negligence against the Plaintiff and the amount of the damages awarded were in error. The Supreme Court allowed the Appeal and reduced the damages. It was clear that the Plaintiff had suffered a significant injury, however, the Plaintiff had deliberately exaggerated her symptoms and had lost credibility as a consequence. The damages awarded were reduced to €114,000.00 and contributory negligence assessed at 50% reducing the award to €57,000.00. The Plaintiff’s manifest falsehoods and the overall impression of the video evidence had given rise to a considerable difficulty.