Two football fans face combined costs of more than £12,000 after their personal injury claims were dismissed and found to be fundamentally dishonest, resulting in costs protection being set aside by Leeds County Court.
The pair had made injury claims after travelling on a bus packed full of football supporters which was involved in a minor collision with a Ford Fiesta while moving at very low speed.
The two claims are the first to reach court of more than 50 submitted to the bus company, First Bus, arising from the incident.
Martin Costello, 51, of Leeds, was ordered to pay costs of £4,839 plus VAT by Judge Gosnell last month. Neil Muscroft, 53, of Pontefract, was ordered to pay costs of £7,163 by Judge Saffman in May.
The claimants had sought personal injury damages of £2,400 and £4,200 respectively.
Evidence submitted by defendant firm Horwich Farrelly, which acted for the bus company, showed that there had been only minor damage (pictured) to the two vehicles, and the elderly couple who had been travelling in the Ford Fiesta had been ‘entirely unharmed’.
Muscroft had claimed that the impact of the collision had thrown him to the ground, causing injuries to his neck and shoulder that lasted eight to 10 months.
However, CCTV footage showed the fans to be so tightly packed into the bus that there was no room for the claimant to have fallen.
Muscroft had also taken no time off work, and failed to mention the injuries during two GP appointments in the months after the collision.
In the case of Costello, CCTV footage from the bus showed him twice holding his neck while smiling, in the moments after the incident. However, his claim stated that his pain began the following day.
Mark Hudson, fraud partner at Horwich Farrelly, said: ‘The CCTV footage of the second claimant holding his neck, yet clearly not in any pain immediately after the collision, suggested to us that he was joking with friends about whiplash, and possibly even about making a claim.
‘Alongside other parts of his statement, which contradicted the CCTV evidence and witness statements, and his failure to produce statements from the witnesses he named, [this] provided enough evidence for the judge to conclude this was indeed a dishonest claim.’