Judge throws out TikTok star’s damages claim over bus injury

23 November 2021

A 29-year-old sales assistant and online dancer with thousands of followers on Tik Tok and YouTube has denied in the Circuit Civil Court that he had defrauded the Department of Social Welfare out of €35,000.

A €60,000 damages claim by Sean McMillan, of Cromcastle Park, Kilmore West, Coolock, Dublin, for personal injuries was thrown out on Tuesday by Judge Cormac Quinn who had “heard enough” during forensic cross-examination of his evidence about a fall on a bus.

The court was told during cross-examination by Gerard O’Herlihy, on behalf of Dublin Bus, that McMillan had received €35,000 of social welfare since having fallen from a seat on a bus at Fairview, Dublin, in January 2016.

McMillan denied a suggestion by Mr O’Herlihy that he had defrauded the social welfare department by claiming disability benefit when clear evidence from his own online dance videos revealed he had not been disabled in any way. He said he had not lied to his own doctors, the defendants’ doctors or to the court.

Barrister Frank Martin, counsel for Suttle Landscapes, whose driver Deirdre Fairbrother had allegedly caused the bus to brake suddenly, told McMillan he appeared like “Mr Wobbly” on the bus following an incident in which CCTV showed that no other passenger had been thrown from their seat.

‘Chancer’ 

Mr Martin, who appeared with Tormey’s Solicitors, put it to Mr McMillan that his own GP thought he was a “chancer” and had given him no treatment in relation to his alleged back injuries.

The court had been shown McMillan dancing and doing squats and flips in videos which he had put up on his various social media accounts including his dance routine to Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me on YouTube. 

Judge Quinn said he had heard and seen enough and dismissed McMillan’s case. The judge ordered that he pay the legal costs of Dublin Bus; Suttle Landscapes, Clontarf, Dublin, and of Deirdre Fairbrother, Estuary Road, Malahide, Co Dublin, the driver of Suttle’s vehicle that had allegedly caused the bus to brake suddenly.

None of the three defendants had to call any direct evidence to challenge Mr McMillan’s claims before his claims were dismissed by the court.

In relation to the videos of his dance routines, Mr McMillan said he had not been shown to do “severe dancing” which was what he had been able to do prior to the incident.

Judge Quinn said he could not discern any causation between the bus incident and Mr McMillan’s allegations in respect of his injuries. The judge also rejected a claim by Mr McMillan that he had become addicted to prescription medication for pain.

When Mr O’Herlihy asked if the court would consider making any direction in relation to sending some of the evidence to the Department of Social Welfare, Judge Quinn said it was open for any party to make such a referral should they deem it necessary.

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