Aviva pursued the claimant to pay their costs after social media posts busted fake claim
A builder has been ordered to pay Aviva more than £13,000 after making a “fundamentally dishonest” £98,000 injury claim.
Billy Cooper, from Carshalton in Surrey, stated he was unable to work in construction due to injuries sustained in a car accident in 2013.
The claim collapsed when investigations by Aviva and law firm Clyde & Co found posts showing Cooper regularly working at height as a roofer and also enjoying walking and cycling. This was despite telling medics he was unsteady on his feet.
Cooper discontinued the claim after being presented with this evidence.
But Aviva pursued Cooper to recover the costs of fighting the case, with Clyde & Co seeking a ruling of ‘fundamental dishonesty’.
And at Brighton Crown Court medical experts accepted there may have been no significant injury to Cooper as a result of the 2013 collision.
The claim was found to be fundamentally dishonest on the basis of evidence served and Cooper was ordered to pay Aviva’s costs of defending the claim.
Richard Hiscocks, Aviva’s director of casualty claims, said: “Mr Cooper’s case is like a game of chutes and ladders – he thought he was climbing the ladder to an easy payout while working as a roofer, but he’s found himself in a worse situation than before he made his dishonest claim.
“Ironically, it was Mr Cooper’s social media posts that sent him tumbling – they read like a diary of his deceit, and it was clear that he needed to be held to account for his actions.
“We’re pleased with the final ruling which helps to protect motorists from paying for fraudulent claims.
“This ruling should send a clear warning shot to would-be fraudsters and opportunists: insurers will not only detect and pursue you through the courts, but if you are found to be fundamentally dishonest like Mr Cooper, instead of an easy payout, you could face paying thousands of pounds for your dishonest actions.”