A 35-year-old woman, described by a judge as “a serial litigant,” has lost a €60,000 damages claim for personal injury arising out of a road traffic accident in Letterkenny.
Barrister Conor Kearney told the Circuit Civil Court that Margaret Stokes had failed to inform the court of previous accidents she had been involved.
“Even worse she did not tell her doctors about them,” Mr Kearney told Judge James O’Donohoe.
Judge Donohoe, dismissing her case and awarding costs against her, told Stokes, of Stratten Walk, Adamstown, Lucan, Co Dublin: “You are a serial litigant and you have sought to obtain money.”
The judge told Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor solicitors, that consultant Robert McQuillan had used the word “elaboration” about Ms Stokes’s complaints.
“Let’s call a spade a spade. I have no doubt that he means that she is laying it on,” Judge O’Donohoe said when dismissing her claim.
Stokes had sued John Gray of Knoc Ard, Carnamuggagh, Letterkenny, and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
She claimed that on 12th May 2011 she was a passenger in a vehicle at Carnamuggagh when it was rear ended by Gray.
She said she was shocked and dazed and jolted forward so that she banged her head on the passenger window.
She had attended the A and E Department of Letterkenny General Hospital complaining of pain to her neck, low back and left shoulder. She had been diagnosed with soft tissue injuries and advised to rest and prescribed analgesia.
Mr Kearney said Ms Stokes had failed to tell the court of previous accidents for which she had already obtained damages and one of which was ongoing.
Counsel for Ms Stokes told the court the defendants had been informed of the accidents in a letter prior to her case coming before the court.
Liability had been conceded in the case before the court today and the hearing had gone ahead to asses damages.
Mr Kearney said that as the law stood, even if there was legitimate injuries, the judge, if satisfied that a plaintiff had sought to mislead the court in any material respect, “shall” dismiss the case.
Dismissing the case Judge O’Donohoe said he was satisfied that Ms Stokes had not been forthcoming with the court about all of her previous accidents.