A worker's fake injury claim backfired after insurers uncovered footage of him 'surfing' down the stairs.
Christopher Clinton tried to claim more than £50,000 in compensation following a car crash on the A66 in Middlesbrough in 2016.
The then 29-year-old claimed to suffer injuries to his lumbar spine, hips and his right shoulder which left him unable to work as an asbestos remover, Teesside Live reports.
In 2017, Mr Clinton made a claim for loss of earnings on the grounds of his inability to work as well as ongoing pain.
Insurer AXA UK reserved up to £50,000 for the claim and an additional £40,000 for legal fees, but first decided to launch an investigation into Mr Clinton’s claims.
They found videos and posts on social media showing the claimant rock climbing, skiing and swimming in the wake of his supposedly crippling accident.
He was also filmed surfing down a staircase on a construction site after the accident had taken place.
According to Teeside Live, Damian Rourke, from law firm Clyde & Co, said: "Mr Clinton’s posts showed a very active individual, carrying out extreme and demanding physical activities shortly after the accident.
"These included activities like rock climbing and skiing that simply couldn’t be carried out or even contemplated by someone with the reported ongoing physical problems."
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When Mr Clinton was confronted with the evidence from his social media, he discontinued his claim in October 2021.
Deputy District Judge Crammond, sitting at Middlesbrough County Court on January 21, ruled that Mr Clinton had been "fundamentally dishonest" and ordered him to pay £4,439 in costs.
Mr Rourke added: "Insurance companies and the courts will not tolerate any attempts to exaggerate injuries in order to get money.
"Mr Clinton certainly didn’t help himself by filling his social media with videos of sports and activities, none of which could have been done if his claims were true.
"Also, at a time when the pandemic has created a log jam throughout the legal system, his action was a complete waste of the court's time and delayed other more worthy cases."
Tom Wilson, Head of Counter Fraud Operations at AXA UK, added: "The decision against Mr Clinton should serve as a warning to anyone who is considering making a fraudulent claim.
"This was a clear attempt by Mr Clinton to take full advantage of an incident through exaggerating his insurance claim.
"The visual evidence found on Mr Clinton’s social media after the event highlighted the extent of the deception."
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