In The High Court Of Justice
Claim No: C95YX272
Queen’s Bench Division
Norwich District Registry
HHJ Moloney QC
(sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
John Egner – Claimant/Respondent
Advantage Insurance Co Ltd – Defendant/Applicant
Committal for contempt of court
On Wednesday 9 August 2017, at Norwich Combined Court, His Honour Judge Moloney QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) sentenced Mr John Egner to 8 weeks’ immediate imprisonment for contempt of court in putting forward a dishonest whiplash claim.
In 2013, Mr Egner’s parked van had been the subject of a collision; but as he then told the police, he had not been in it at the time.
In 2015, following a “cold call” from a claims handler, Mr Egner put forward a false claim to have been sitting in the van and to have suffered injury as a result. In the course of that claim he signed a Statement of Truth to the following legal documents: a Claim Form, Particulars of Claim, and Further Information, in each case falsely putting forward his claim to have been injured. In addition he falsely told a medical expert witness that he had suffered injuries.
When the other driver’s insurers produced Mr Egner’s statements to the police, which showed his claim to be false, his action was dismissed and he admitted committing contempt of court.
In sentencing him to 8 weeks’ imprisonment, Judge Moloney QC gave him credit for pleading Guilty, but said that false road traffic accident claims were now very common, and were putting up insurance premiums as well as wasting Court time. People who made such false claims should expect a term of imprisonment even if, like Mr Egner, they were of previous good character, and even if the claim was relatively small.
In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, the Judge ordered Mr Egner to pay £14,000 legal costs to the other driver’s insurers in respect of the original accident claim and the subsequent contempt proceedings.