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Footballer forced to drop “bogus” insurance claim against Aviva

Footballer forced to drop “bogus” insurance claim against Aviva | Insurance Business UK

Footballer forced to drop “bogus” insurance claim against Aviva

Arbroath FC winger Robert ‘Bobby’ Linn has had to abort an insurance claim that insurer Aviva describes as bogus.

According to Aviva partner firm Horwich Farrelly, the Scottish footballer previously lodged court pleadings to indicate that he supposedly suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck following a vehicular collision in Dundee involving an Aviva customer back in 2018.

“While his occupation as a binman was recorded,” noted the counter-fraud legal specialist in a release, “in every document produced Mr Linn omitted to mention that he was also a footballer and had continued to play without restriction. “The specialist investigations team at Horwich Farrelly found extensive social media footage and press reporting of Mr Linn playing for the then Scottish League One leaders Arbroath just hours after the accident.

“Not only had he played for the club that day (September 15), but he had scored a hat trick and was awarded SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) Player of the Week for his performance during the game. He went on to play a further four matches during the period he was allegedly suffering from his injuries.”

It was highlighted that the case went on for 15 months before Linn abandoned it to avoid giving evidence under oath. Aside from dropping the claim, the player also agreed to pay the other camp’s full legal fees.

“In the English and Welsh courts, such behaviour is called fundamental dishonesty and the claim would have been dismissed at an early stage,” stated Horwich Farrelly partner Steven Smart. “Despite a clear decision to withhold information from the court to secure payment for an, at best, highly dubious claim, this action was dragged out until the eve of a civil trial.

“Fortunately for the policyholder who would have been impacted, Aviva’s robust counter-fraud stance and partnership with Horwich Farrelly led to my outstanding colleagues in our investigations and legal teams maintaining a successful defence. The just outcome was eventually reached, albeit at unnecessary cost and wasted court time.”

It was unclear how much in legal fees Linn agreed to shoulder.

Meanwhile Aviva fraud prevention director Rob Lee declared: “Mr Linn’s bogus claim highlights the importance of the whiplash reforms which Aviva championed and which were brought in last year. These new rules should help to reduce the incidence of such flagrant exaggeration of injuries for personal gain.

“We will not tolerate fraudulent and inflated claims, and we have a duty to detect and deter these claims from impacting on our customers’ premiums.”