Facebook photos sees man lose court case


A man who claimed he could no longer carry out manual labour and was unable to raise his arm above his head without pain after his car was rear-ended has had his case for damages thrown out.

Presiding judge was shown Facebook pictures of the plaintiff in a 10km obstacle course after the alleged incident.

A garda had told the court that the alleged offending vehicle had no damage whatsoever following the incident, to the point that the dead insects on the number plate were undisturbed by any apparent impact.

Brothers Gary and David Malone, from New Ross, Co Wexford, took separate cases arising from an incident in Castlemartyr, Co Cork in 2014.

They told Cork Circuit Civil Court they suffered injuries when the car in which they were travelling was hit from behind by a car driven by Ann-Marie Brunnock.

However, Garda Colin Moynihan told the court that he inspected Ms Brunnock’s vehicle on the afternoon of the incident. He told the court the paintwork on the car was in “excellent” condition, and that there was not a mark, dent, or scratch on the front of the car.

Seven months after the incident on April 2, 2015, David Malone was examined by a doctor at the behest of representatives, HR Delahunty solicitors.

In this report it was stated Mr Malone complained of difficulty elevating his left arm, that he felt ‘sick’ with the pain, that he was only sleeping three-and-a-half hours a night, that he was unable to lift weights in the gym and unable to fulfill manual labour tasks since the alleged accident.

Another report the following December was compiled by a doctor on behalf of RSA Insurance, who were defending the claim.

In it, Mr Malone again complained of suffering pain if he raised his arm above shoulder height for more than a few minutes, and that pushing, pulling, dragging and lifting objects caused him pain.

However, Kieran Hughes, counsel for RSA Insurance, presented photographs of David Malone scaling a wall as part of the ‘Hookamuck Challenge’ in Wexford on June, 27, 2015 — two months after the examination requested by his solicitors and six months before he was examined by the doctor on behalf of RSA Insurance.

The photos were posted to the event’s Facebook page, and the organisers described the challenge as 10km of obstacles through mud and water that tests “mental and physical strength and ability”.

Judge James McCourt said any sympathy he may have had for David Malone “evaporated” when he saw the ‘Hookamuck’ photos.

Both claims were dismissed with costs awarded against both plaintiffs.

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