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Fundamental dishonesty high court
 appeal case study

The fraudulent activity became apparent following an alleged collision in 2016. We received a motor claim from our policyholder and a third party claim for vehicle damage. We also received personal injury claims from the occupants of both vehicles. 

Suspicious circumstances around the third party claim raised concerns about the claimant’s credibility, leading us to believe that the accident had been staged and the claimant’s injuries exaggerated. We subsequently declined the claim and court proceedings were issued by the third party.  

The case first went to trial in 2019 at Stoke-on-Trent County Court and the Judge ruled that the collision was genuine and was caused by our policyholder’s  negligence. However, they also found that the claimant was exaggerating the extent of their injuries and subsequently dismissed his claim.  Despite this, the claimant argued we should pay a contribution to their legal fees and the Court ordered us to pay 60% of the costs.

Following the original judgement, we instructed Keoghs to appeal the decision on the grounds that the Judge should have found the claimant fundamentally dishonest and it was wrong to order us to pay the claimant’s costs. 

The appeal hearing went ahead in July 2020 before Mr Justice Martin Spencer at the High Court.  In his Judgment, Mr Spencer found the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest and ordered him to pay 70% of our costs.

 

James Burge, fraud manager, Allianz Insurance said: 

 “We’re delighted with the result of this appeal as we strongly believed that the original finding did not reflect the dishonest nature of the claim presented in court by the third party. It was a unusual decision to order us to contribute towards the costs when the claim had been dismissed, so we were confident it should have been challenged. 

“We will always take action and defend spurious claims where we believe that an element of  fraud is at play. Working together with specialists such as Keoghs demonstrates our ongoing commitment to challenging and tackling insurance fraud”. 

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