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Claim quashed as video link used in Mullingar Court  Defendant delivers evidence from London legal office
Sarah Dick of BLM was the lawyer involved in the case

24 Jul 2019 / courts Print

Claim quashed as video link used in Mullingar Court

A defendant has delivered evidence to a Mullingar Court via video link from London.

In a clear demonstration of the trend toward greater reliance on digital technology in Ireland’s judicial system, Natalie Crooks gave evidence to the court from BLM offices in London.

Young children

She was accommodated in doing so due to childcare commitments for her young children.  The case determined an insurance claim following a car accident in 2015. 

BLM Dublin partner Gavin Campbell welcomed the use of new technology and said the firm was committed to not only defending fraudulent claims but eradicating them through working with leading insurers.

Streamline services

“The use of video technology in this case was a success and proves that courtrooms across Ireland can rely on new tech to streamline services, cut costs and deliver results,” he said.

In this case, the defendant accepted responsibility but told the court that there was no damage to either vehicle, so no police involvement was necessary. 

Invoice for repairs

The plaintiff claimed that his bumper was damaged and furnished an invoice for repairs dated seven weeks post-accident. 

A witness on behalf of the hire company who leased the vehicle to the defendant gave evidence that when the defendant’s vehicle was returned to them, it was inspected on numerous occasions by employees and that no damage was picked up.

Judge Karen Fergus was not satisfied the plaintiff had proved his case and dismissed the matter.

Minimal impact defence

Commenting on the case Sarah Dick of BLM in Dublin said “We had served a minimal impact defence pleading that the impact was of such a minimal nature it was not possible for the claimants to suffer injury.

“An engineer giving evidence on behalf of the plaintiff accepted that best practice would be to inspect both vehicles.

Insurers

“In this case, neither the plaintiff’s or defendant’s insurers were given this opportunity as neither were made aware of the accident until some two years later when the defendants received a solicitor’s letter.

“While logistically, running a case where the lead defendant didn’t actually have to be in the same jurisdiction was of great benefit, it was ultimately the strength of the evidence obtained and presented in court which won the case.”

In 2018, Mullingar Courthouse was refurbished as the final part of a €140 million investment into a bundle of seven new courts which created almost 1,000 jobs in the construction industry and facilitated the integration of new technologies into the process. 

Almost 6,000 criminal law, family law and civil matters were dealt with in Mullingar Circuit and District Courts in 2017.

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