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Psychologist who 'over-egged' injuries loses €60k claim after court shown videos

The court was shown a video of her walking unaided from her home to her car without her orthopaedic boot.

Ray ManaghSunday World

A psychologist had over-egged and exaggerated her personal injuries claim to such an extent that the Circuit Civil Court had no alternative but to dismiss her €60,000 damages claim against Trinity College, Dublin, a judge has ruled.

Judge John Martin ordered Blessing Agbo, of Greenmount Park, Green Road, Newbridge, Co Kildare, a former psychology adult student at TCD to pay the university’s legal fees in a case which he said she had totally flawed during her evidence.

Agbo, a 50-year-old mother of four, had told defence counsel Shane English she had bounced down a flight of wet steps after leaving a lecture in the college campus on the 21st of February 2017.

Mr English, who appeared for TCD with Kerry Lyons of Ennis Solicitors, told Judge Martin that Agbo had told different doctors she had bounced, cascaded, tumbled and fell head over heels down the steps, injuring her foot, ankle, lower leg, hip, back and shoulder on her left side.

She claimed her injuries had been such that she had to use a crutch and wear an orthopaedic boot for up to two years and had difficulty being intimate with her husband.

Judge Martin was told that TCD was admitting liability in the case but was questioning the claimed extent of her injuries in a hearing to assess damages allegedly due to her.

As cross-examination of Ms Agbo drew to a close the court was shown a video of her walking unaided from her home to her car without her orthopaedic boot or crutch but arriving at a consultant’s clinic with boot on foot and crutch in hand as she exited her car and limped into his surgery.

Other videos played to the court showed Agbo running, walking, stooping and bending without apparent issue and lifting several large shopping bags into the boot of a waiting taxi.

She told Judge Martin she had sometimes been able to walk unaided when she took pain killing tablets and because of exercises and ongoing physiotherapy.

Throwing out Agbo’s case Judge Martin said the court did not know from her evidence if she had fallen down four steps, more than four steps, nearly 12 steps or an entire flight of steps.

He said her fall had undoubtedly been painful and it was not unreasonable that a number of people should have come to her assistance before she had been taken to St James’s Hospital by ambulance.

Judge Martin said an initial medical report suggested a recovery could be made within a number of months but it was difficult for the court to determine on the basis of her evidence whether her injuries had persisted for long, medium or short term.

He said she had “over-egged her pudding” and in cross-examination had affirmed that for the best part of two years had required the use of a crutch and orthopaedic boot when this was clearly not so. Video footage had also clearly shown she had no difficulty, as she claimed, with day to day activities.

“It is most unfortunate that she has sought to present her case in the manner in which she has done so and has basically flawed her own claim by her evidence,” Judge Martin said. “I believe such is the extent of overegging and exaggeration that she has left the court with no alternative but to dismiss her claim and I award costs against her.”


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