Dishonest accident victim stripped of award

Posted: 5th February 2018

DishonestyA dishonest minority of accident victims harm themselves and others by over-egging their compensation claims.

The point was powerfully made by one case in which pensioner, Haydn Sinfield, who was injured after volunteering to help out during the 2012 Olympic Games was stripped of the whole of his damages award.

Mr Sinfield suffered fractures to his left arm and wrist in a fall whilst working as one of the cohort of volunteers in the Olympic Park. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) admitted liability for the accident and he was awarded £27,758 in damages and interest by a judge.

In upholding LOCOG’s challenge to the award, the High Court found that part of Mr Sinfield’s claim was fundamentally dishonest, within the meaning of Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. On that basis, the Court ruled that the entirety of his claim, including those parts of it which were genuine, stood to be dismissed.

He had initially claimed almost £14,000 in respect of gardening expenses on the basis that, following the accident, he was unable to tend his two-acre garden and was, for the first time, constrained to employ a professional gardener. However, inquiries by LOCOG's solicitors revealed that the gardener had worked for him since 2005. It also emerged that the man had manufactured bogus invoices, purporting to come from the gardener, to support his claim.