Mr Thomas Judge v Haven Insurance Company Ltd
Claimant found fundamentally dishonest after pretending to be a passenger in vehicle, as he could not get the accident circumstances or location correct.Read more
In May 2016, Mr Gorla, a director at BR Motors Services Ltd was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding a motorcycle on the A40 in London. He then proceeded to pursue a claim for damages and costs worth £20,000.
Following detailed investigations by Flint Bishop and our insurer client, the claim was successfully defended at trial. All heads of loss were dismissed, and Mr Gorla was ordered to repay a without prejudice payment of £1,505 and costs of £8,000.
Although liability for the accident was admitted, our insurer client had issues with aspects of the claim including Mr Gorla’s own company, BR Motors Services Ltd, supplying services to himself including storage of his damaged motorcycle. Mr Gorla also failed to disclose relevant medical conditions and an extensive accident history. These failings were crucial to the finding that Mr Gorla had been fundamentally dishonest in pursuing his claim against our insurer client.
The trial proceeded at the County Court at Kingston on Thames in May 2021 before District Judge Armstrong.
Mr Gorla was cross-examined by our barrister for over an hour and a half, in which time Mr Gorla gave a very poor account and the Judge ultimately found him to be wholly unreliable.
In finding Mr Gorla to be fundamentally dishonest, the Judge noted the following issues with his evidence:
The Judge was also highly critical of Mr Gorla’s verbal evidence and counted 33 “I can’t remember” responses after he began keeping notes. Issues that Mr Gorla could not remember included whether he had a bank account at the time of the accident. His disclosure and verbal evidence were so poor with regards to his financial means, that he failed to prove that he was impecunious at the time of the accident.
Imagin’s comments on the case:
“Having dedicated a lot of time and effort to this case, I am pleased that this has resulted in such a significant outcome for our client. Whilst this is such a major success for the insurer, ultimately, this is also a win for any bona fide road user, and it is highly reassuring for those who may unexpectedly find themselves defending a dishonest claim following a road traffic incident. Of course, it is also satisfying to be responsible for causing disruption to the business models which surround these types of claims.”
Anthony Carrington, Partner and recently appointed Head of Fraud at Flint Bishop said:
“Imagin’s result is a fantastic finding against the claimant and those companies involved in the claims process who aim to unjustly profit from trivial road accidents. The inconsistencies in this case were expertly evidenced by the Counter Fraud team at Flint Bishop and the Judge’s findings validate the concerns our client had.
“The claimant has pursued this claim for five years, which just goes to show the lengths that people will go to pursue dishonest claims.”
For more information about this case or how our Insurance Litigation team defends insurers and self-insured organisations, please contact us on 01332 226 109 or complete the form below.
Scroll to next section
Scroll back to the top