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Man forced to drop €120k crash claim after pics show him carrying wife

Janis Kapteinis
Janis Kapteinis

THIS is the airport worker who sued for €120,000 following a car crash pictured hill walking and carrying his wife on his shoulders in advance of the trial.

Janis Kapteinis (34), was forced to withdraw his claim this week when pictures were produced in court showing him driving buses and loading luggage in the aftermath of the crashes.

The Sunday World can reveal that while Kapteinis was demanding €60,000 each from both Hertz Rent-A-Car and Royal Sun Alliance, he was also posting images of himself on Facebook climbing the Sugarloaf.

These images show him enjoying a day out with family and hoisting his wife of three years on his shoulders while on Dublin’s seafront.

Kapteinis increased the privacy settings on his Facebook account to block public access to the images on Thursday, the day after he was forced to drop the claims, but the Sunday World copied the images from the site on the day of the hearing.

On Wednesday, Dublin-based Latvian Kapteinis had gone to the High Court seeking damages arising from road traffic accidents in November 2013 involving a Co. Fermanagh motorist and in December 2014 involving Hertz.

He had claimed that in the first accident he had suffered back injuries, which had been exacerbated by the second crash. He claimed neither crash had been his fault.

However, Kapteinis pulled both his claims when Eve Bolster, counsel for Hertz Rent-a-Car, handed Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke pictures of him taking passengers to and from the airport and lugging their baggage on to a tour coach.

 

Ms Bolster, who appeared with Hertz in-house solicitor Michael Brennan, told Mr Kapteinis, of Ashton Green, Swords, Co. Dublin, he had been secretly photographed parking and collecting his coach away from his home so he would not be suspected of driving for the bus company.

When handed one of the photographs by Judge Groarke and asked had he driven the bus when he claimed he was unable to work, Mr Kapteinis said he had done so about four times a month as a favour for the coach owner.

He denied suggestions that he had been involved in two other accidents which he had not disclosed to the legal teams for either defendant.

Kapteinis also told the court he knew nothing about an accident allegedly involving his private car and from which six claims had arisen, two from occupants of his car and four from passengers in another car involved in the collision.

Ms Bolster said she would be calling a witness who would tell the court he had slammed on his brakes for no good reason which had caused the rear-ending of his car in the second accident.

Following a brief adjournment, counsel for Kapteinis told the court his client was withdrawing both his damages claims.

Judge Groarke said he would dismiss both claims and awarded costs against Mr Kapteinis to both defendants.
 

Pictures obtained by the Sunday World from Kapteinis’s Facebook page in the wake of the accidents showed a man who was engaged in an active lifestyle.

He was well enough in March of 2016 to be pictured sitting down on a bench near Ringsend while carrying his wife on his shoulders, while in August of 2016 he posted pictures of himself and family members scaling the 552-metre Sugarloaf Mountain.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Insurance Federation of Ireland warned that exaggerated and fraudulent claims cost the insurance industry in Ireland €200 million in payouts last year and added approximately €50 to the cost of individual motorists premiums.

The spokesperson said that cases where fraud is suspected should be reported to Gardaí.