A beautician had her claim for compensation for injuries from a slow-speed traffic accident dismissed yesterday when the judge referred to videos of the claimant exercising at a gym 10 days later.
Judge James O’Donoghue remarked: “I even get tired looking at that.”
The videos were discovered by the defence in the case at Cork Circuit Court, but the plaintiff posted the footage of herself exercising on social media, defence barrister Deirdre Keane indicated.
Lauren Pineda, 24, brought her claim arising out of a slow-speed collision on March 14, 2018, at a roundabout in Douglas near Douglas Court Shopping Centre, when a pensioner’s car collided with the plaintiff’s car.
Judge O’Donoghue was told that the repair bill for the pensioner’s car was €100 and the repairs for the plaintiff’s car were €1,500.
Dismissing the claim, Judge O’Donoghue said: “She has been the author of her own misfortune. She posted photos of herself engaged in vigorous exercise.
“There are great credibility issues… She has left herself wide open on this… She can only blame herself.”
The judge said there were issues arising over the delay in the plaintiff informing her own doctor about the accident and the injury suffered, her not telling the defence doctor about her lengthy history of back pain and a 2013 accident.
Arising out of that previous accident, Judge O’Donoghue was told that the plaintiff was awarded €21,000 in compensation.
Judge O’Donoghue found against Ms Pineda on the personal injury and medical assessment claim and awarded costs to the defendant, subject to a possible appeal.
The judge said the plaintiff had not told her GP for nine months about suffering back pain as a result of the second accident on March 14, 2018.
Ms Pineda recorded some of her session at Dennehy’s Gym in Cork just 10 days after the 2018 accident when she engaged in a workout. She went to the gym several more times in the following two months and posted videos of herself on her public Instagram page.
After seeing one of the videos, the judge said: “I even get tired looking at that.”
The plaintiff acknowledged she had not told her own doctor about pain from the March 2018 accident for nine months. Ms Pineda explained that the gym workouts were an attempt to build up her back and build up her core after the incident.