Robert Marsland, Church View, Knockagorna, Omeath, Co Louth, owner and driver of the second car involved in the May 2015 accident was also named as a defendant in the five cases before the court but did not appear.
Ms Flahive said Mr Marsland was a named driver on a motor policy which expired just over two weeks after the Howth accident. Ownership of the car he was driving at the time had been transferred into his name only one day before the accident and indemnity by the insurance company had been declined.
She said Mr Culleton’s affidavit revealed that Mr Marsland had denied having been involved in any other accidents but this had turned out to be untrue as he had been involved in accidents in January 2015 and 19 July 2014.
Judge Linnane said fraud was a fact in the case and had not been denied. She said the five plaintiffs had stated they had been on a sight-seeing trip to Dublin. It was clear they had travelled from London to stage the accident in Dublin.
The judge said that media reports about set-up claims were sometimes followed by criticism in newspaper articles about solicitors contributing to this and perhaps “personal injury solicitors Dublin” some solicitors should be a bit more selective about who they take on, because maybe they were contributing to this sort of fraud.
Judge Linnane said some solicitors did not even say in correspondence that they had tried to contact their client without success or had been unable to get instructions from their clients.She said the evidence of Mr Culleton in the case of Joseph Stokes had been mirrored in the other four cases which were identical.
Ms Flahive said there had been enormous costs involved in RSA’s investigation into the accident and the background relating to other people and other accidents and she applied for a costs order against all of the plaintiffs which was granted.
The judge dismissed all of the claims and directed that the papers in all of the cases be sent to the DPP. Ms Flahive said she had not received any instructions with regard to reporting the matter to the Law Society but would discuss it with the insurance company.