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Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Kickboxer loses fight in fraudulent whiplash claim

Kickboxer loses fight in fraudulent whiplash claim


Case should deter others contemplating insurance fraud, says insurance lawyer

A kickboxer who claimed injuries suffered during a competitive fight had in fact been sustained in a car accident has been ordered to pay £4,000 in costs.

Dawid Masel was involved in a minor incident in September 2014 when the rear of his car was bumped by another motorist at low speed in heavy traffic.

Despite walking away uninjured, Masel claimed that he was jolted on impact, causing his knee to hit the dashboard and his head hit the side of his vehicle.

Examinations three weeks later showed that he was unable to take part in any sport activities, according to Masel, who then tried to claim for alleged whiplash injuries lasting for four months.

However, investigations by insurer esure and insurance firm Horwich Farrelly found a YouTube video of the claimant winning a kickboxing fight, which took place just five weeks after the incident and two weeks after the medical examination.

The claimant sustained several blows to his head and left knee, both of which he later claimed to have injured as a result of the car accident.

Masel attempted to tailor his evidence to undermine the video by suggesting he had 'largely recovered' from his alleged injuries prior to the fight.

After the video was played at Bristol County Court, Deputy District Judge Close said that it showed a man 'in the picture of health'.

The claim was instantly dismissed and the judge ruled the claimant as being fundamentally dishonest, while ordering him to pay costs of £4,000.

Glen Eastwood, technical claims manager at esure, was delighted with the result. 'esure investigates all claims thoroughly and this is another example of someone trying to make a fast buck at the expense of law abiding motorists by claiming they are injured, whilst parading their sporting exploits across social media.'

Ronan McCann, counter fraud partner at Horwich Farrelly said: 'Cases like this demonstrate the consequences of making spurious claims and will hopefully act as deterrent to anyone contemplating insurance fraud.'