Personal injury claims related to allegedly staged road crash struck out

A judge has struck out two related personal injury claims arising from an allegedly staged road traffic collision in Co Roscommon and ordered that both cases be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Judge Karen Fergus said it was no wonder that insurance premiums were so high given the time and expense spent on the cases.

“This is the tip of the iceberg, as far as I’m concerned,” she told Roscommon Circuit Court, “[this is] not the first one of these I’ve come across.”

Brian Mongon, with an address at Bucknall Crescent, Birmingham, and Margaret Teresa McDonagh, of Bangor Street, Leeds, made separate claims against multiple co-defendants arising from the alleged collision on Galway Road, Roscommon on April 13th, 2013. Neither claimant was represented in court.

The defendants in both cases were Margaret Patricia McDonagh, of Warwick Court, Loughborough, and David Gannon, of Greenfield Road, Lisnamult, Co Roscommon, as well as Flynn Bros Rent A Car and Budget Car Rental Ireland. The court heard that Mr Mongon was the husband of Margaret Patricia McDonagh and son-in-law of Margaret Teresa McDonagh. Mr Gannon was also known to the plaintiff for some time before the incident.

According to a statement given by Mr Gannon to Michael Grainger, an insurance claims investigator, he rented a car from Budget Rent A Car in Eyre Square, Galway, on the date in question, and drove with Mr Mongon — who was in a separate car — to Roscommon Town.

Mr Gannon said that Mr Mongon suggested he could “stage an crash with his own car”, the court heard. Mr Mongon told Mr Gannon he could have “a cut of the money”, according to Mr Gannon’s statement.

After driving to Galway Road, Roscommon, both men exited their vehicles. Mr Mongon proceeded to “shunt” his car with the rental vehicle, Mr Gannon told the investigator. It was further alleged that Margaret Patricia McDonagh was the driver of the privately-owned vehicle, and Margaret Teresa McDonagh was a passenger in the same car. Mr Gannon did not reference this in his statement.

The court was also advised that Mr Gannon had previously been prosecuted for conspiracy to deceive Allianz Insurance, as well as for criminal damage, charges arising from the alleged collision on April 13th, 2013. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence in December 2019.

An affidavit from RSA Insurance claims investigator Ian Colin Hodgson outlined an interaction he had with Margaret Patricia McDonagh on March 15th, 2021, during which she denied being involved in a road traffic collision. On identifying himself and the purpose of his visit, she asked Mr Hodgson, “Who is RSA? I have never been involved in any crash”, the affidavit stated. On showing the defendant a signed statement she had given regarding the alleged collision, she made no reply, he said.

Fiachra Breathnach BL, under instruction from Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors, asked that the firm be taken off the record for defendants Margaret Patricia McDonagh and Mr Gannon, and that RSA Insurance Ireland DAC be added as co-defendants in both cases. The court obliged. Judge Fergus also agreed to dismiss the claims of Mr Mongon and Margaret Teresa McDonagh.

Shane Caulfield BL was granted a similar application on behalf of Flynn Bros Rent A Car and Budget Car Rental and said the proceedings were “frivolous” and “bound to fail”.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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