Council wins case against ‘fundamentally dishonest’ tripping claim

Warrington Borough Council Published: Friday, 9th August 2019

Warrington Borough Council pursued an application for a finding of fundamental dishonesty after a tripping claim was discontinued.

Paul Morris, 35, of  Arizona Crescent, Great Sankey was found to have made a claim of fundamental dishonesty by St Helens County Court on 21 June.

Mr Morris alleged that he had tripped and fell on a public highway in Warrington.

The council had immediate concerns about the claim due to inconsistencies of the alleged incident and Morris’s apparent links to other individuals who had made liability claims against the council.

The council expressed this to Morris, after which he withdrew the claim.

The council pursued an application of fundamental dishonesty through St Helens County Court, after going through a preliminary hearing.

After considering the evidence, the judge decided in the council’s favour. The reasons given were that they considered that the alleged route was illogical and the injuries sustained by the supposed fall were not consistent.

The judge also stated that Morris’s evidence that he didn’t know other claimants on social media was evasive and that he did not provide thorough evidence that he was unable to work when he was in fact on holiday in Majorca.

Council leader, Cllr Russ Bowden said: “This a good result - it sends the message that fraudulent claims do not pay and that they won’t be tolerated.

“To try and deceive the council by making a false claim in this way is a flagrant attempt to financially benefit at a time when we need to be focusing our resources on protecting the most vulnerable.”

Local authorities are within their rights to follow up claims that appear falsified, regardless if they have been withdrawn or discontinued by the person raising the claim.