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Window cleaner's claim dismissed in court over fundamental dishonesty

Window cleaner's claim dismissed in court over fundamental dishonesty | Insurance Business

Window cleaner

The evidence, it seems, was simply too compelling.

A 44-year-old window cleaner who originally claimed an accident with a motorist had left him unable to work, ultimately admitted fundamental dishonesty in court – having his claim for compensation against Admiral Insurance dismissed, thus avoiding the possibility of criminal proceedings.

Peterborough-based Simon McPherson was hit by a car in February, 2016. Admiral accepted that responsibility for the accident lay with the driver and admitted liability, with damages limited to £100,000 pending medical evidence. The insurer then made interim payments to McPherson to allow him to undergo rehabilitation, while also making an offer to him for his injuries which was rejected.

The insurer, however, became suspicious over the way McPherson was presenting his injuries and arranged for surveillance from DAC Beachcroft’s complex loss and motor fraud teams. Their videos showed McPherson driving to two houses, taking heavy ladders off the top of his car and cleaning windows. Further footage showed him making a six-hour journey by car on the same day that he didn’t turn up for a medical examination.

The evidence was put to McPherson, and he was invited to discontinue his claim – however, he refused that opportunity and the case went to trial. Ultimately, in Hybrid court, McPherson was given a stern dressing down by the judge and the claim was dismissed.

“By working with us to defend these claims, we will run matters to trial where necessary rather than pay dishonest claimants,” said Georgia Court, a partner at DAC Beachcroft. “We are grateful to the Judge for facilitating the matter to proceed on a hybrid basis, allowing some of the experts, witnesses and defence team to attend remotely.”

Admiral’s head of technical claims Stuart Cook noted the insurer takes a “dim view and robust stance” on claims with dishonest behaviour.

“The consequences for those choosing to engage in this activity… costs the industry millions of pounds each year,” he said. “In partnership with our legal teams we will exercise the law to its full extent to help us defend these claims and discourage fraudulent and dishonest claimants.”