horwich farrelly

Record Eight Findings of Fundamental Dishonesty Secured in a Single Day

August, 31, 2016

Horwich Farrelly has secured what is believed to be a record eight findings of fundamental dishonesty in a single day. The milestone was achieved on 18 August after winning four trials across the country, for four separate insurers.

As a result of these findings, costs orders have been obtained across seven of the claims in excess of £23,000, with costs in the last case subject to assessment. This is a fantastic result for our clients and sends a strong message to would-be fraudsters that spurious claims will be detected and that the financial consequences can be severe.

The announcement also cements our reputation as the specialists in employing sanctions against dishonest claimants with a market-leading 146 findings to date, including the industry’s first finding secured under S57 of CJCA 2015.

A summary of the cases and the handlers who helped secure these results can be found below.


Legoland claims fail to stack up

Lego cars

In the first case, personal injury claims worth around £11,500 were submitted by Hamid Didehban, Makrokh Azarbin, Mahsa Azarbin and Fazal Moosavi after an alleged shunt in the car park of Legoland, Windsor.

Investigations by Horwich Farrelly revealed that the claimants’ evidence was littered with inconsistencies. For example, one claimant advised her medical expert that her alleged injuries left her unable to attend her gym, but after obtaining her gym records it became apparent that she had visited her gym five times in the fortnight prior to her medical examination.

In addition, all four claimants stated that Mahrock had required medical attention at the scene of the incident. However, Mahrock told her medical expert that her injuries did not develop until 24 hours after the incident. In addition, it was another claimant (Azarbin) who advised her medical expert that she was the only occupant of the vehicle requiring attention at the scene.

Despite two of the claimants discontinuing their claims prior to the trial, after hearing the evidence the trial judge set this aside, ruling all four claims to be fundamentally dishonest. Indemnity costs were also awarded of £10,000.

The case was heard at Wandsworth County Court and was handled by Alexandra Janikiewicz.


Claimants’ icy accounts hits the skids in court

Car travelling on icy road

Our insurer client received claims from Prabhdeep Singh and Ranjeet Kaur around two years after a minor accident in Southall, West London.

Medical records revealed that neither claimant had visited their GP after the incident, despite the second claimant apparently suffering from severe pain for up to six months. Further, both claimants were involved in a subsequent accident just three months after the index accident in which they sought medical attention for similar injuries.

During cross examination, the claimants attempted to persuade the judge that they were simply confused between the two accidents, the second of which involved the claimants’ vehicle skidding on ice and crashing in to a tree. The judge was less than impressed by the claimants’ evidence and, following cross-examination, the claimants discontinued their claims.

Horwich Farrelly made submissions to remove QOCS protection and, after finding the claims to be fundamentally dishonest, ordered the claimants to pay costs of £4,111.

The case was heard at Oxford County Court and was handled by Peter Smithson.


Dishonest claimant shaken by £9,000 costs order

Hand polishing a carAshraf Najim submitted a claim for personal injury after a collision which he suggested was sufficient enough to shake his vehicle and cause him to be jolted in his seat.

However, the defendant’s account was that he had simply misjudged the distance between the two vehicles whilst parking and, as a result, had only scraped Najim’s stationary vehicle.

The level of damage sustained to the vehicles entirely supported the defendant’s version of events and the claimant’s credibility was stretched further when it was revealed that he had sought no medical attention and was unable to provide evidence of time off work during the alleged prognosis period.

During cross-examination, the claimant got into further difficulties and the claim was subsequently ruled as being fundamentally dishonest. Najim was ordered to pay our client’s costs of £9,250.

The case was heard at Kingston upon Thames County Court and was handled by Donna Deakin.


Claimant drops the (volley)ball under cross-examination

Man playing volleyball in silhouette

Mohammed Shabir submitted a claim for an alleged whiplash injury after a very minor collision at Dewsbury market.

Suspicions were raised when our investigations revealed that Shabir had made claims relating to nine other alleged accidents, with five of these allegedly having occurred since 2010.

During cross-examination, Shabir presented as an evasive and unreliable witness, who gave entirely contradictory evidence on a number of different aspects. For example, when questioned about one of his previous claims, in which he had asserted that his injuries had allegedly left him unable to play volleyball for four months – which must have been devastating given that he was apparently so passionate about the sport that he’d played it every single day prior to that accident – the claimant told the court that he had completely forgotten about that accident

Further, when questioned about the details of a medical report, he stated that he was illiterate and had not been able to fully understand the contents of the report, but at another point in his evidence he was able to point his interpreter to the relevant section of a different medical report!

He then asserted that he had been off work for 6-8 weeks, having previously stated in his witness statement that he had had no time off work.

The judge considered the claimant to be creating evidence on the hoof and ruled the claim as being fundamentally dishonest, with costs subject to detailed assessment.

The case was heard at Leeds County Court and was handled by James Booth.


Mark Hudson, Counter Fraud Partner at Horwich Farrelly, commented “When the concept of fundamental dishonesty was introduced, some commentators were quick to suggest that the sanction was of limited application in the fight against fraud. With these results, which are almost certainly the most findings of fundamental dishonesty ever secured in a single day, we have shown this is demonstrably not the case.

“Having secured a market-leading 146 findings we, in partnership with our insurer clients, continue to highlight the very real risks of making bogus claims. Credit must also be given to the hard work of the four handlers in securing these excellent results.”

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