A woman who suffered a brain injury after a fall lost out on $750,000 compensation after a judge branded her 'dishonest'

A woman who suffered a brain injury after a fall lost out on $750,000 compensation after a judge branded her 'dishonest'
  • A woman who suffered a brain injury after falling from a pier lost out on $750,000 in compensation.

  • The judge said she had been "thoroughly dishonest" and dismissed her claim.

  • Insurance fraud costs businesses insurers and consumers billions each year

A woman who suffered a brain injury after falling from a seaside pier lost out on $750,000 in compensation after a judge found that she was "thoroughly dishonest" in her claim.

Kirsty Williams-Henry, 33, sustained multiple injuries after falling from Aberavon Pier in the UK in 2018 when she went to observe bioluminescent plankton that had been spotted in the sea.

While returning to the shore, she fell between 12 and 15 feet onto the rocks and sand below — there had not been any safety barriers along the pier.

She sued the pier's owner, Associated British Ports Holdings Ltd, for damages.

She sought more than £2.5 million, about $3.1 million, in a case heard by Andrew Ritchie, a judge on the High Court of England and Wales.  

The company responded, saying that it believed Williams-Henry was entitled to around £370,000, but that the claim should be dismissed.

It alleged Williams-Henry had been dishonest about the extent of her injuries and how they affected her daily life.

Ritchie, in a ruling issued Wednesday, agreed.

"I have come to the conclusion that both the claimant and her mother have been thoroughly dishonest in their presentation of the claimant's symptoms and disabilities," he wrote.

He said they "sought to mislead clinicians, medicolegal experts and this court about the claimant's health, functioning, activities of daily living and her work abilities."

In the US, an estimated $308.6 billion annually is lost to insurance fraudulent insurance claims, according to Forbes. Healthcare insurance fraud (including Medicaid and Medicare insurance fraud) is the most common type, estimated at $105 billion annually.

In the UK trial held over 11 days in Cardiff last month, Williams-Henry said that she had not received proper rehabilitation since the incident and that she had "good days and bad days" because of her injuries, which caused her difficulties at home and work.

She denied ever lying about her injuries, with her mother, Christel Williams, claiming that her daughter had "no life" due to her conditions.

Ritchie said that he would have awarded Ms Williams-Henry £596,704 ($743,000) in damages for her "genuine'"injuries but dismissed her claim as she was a "regular liar."

Justice Ritchie concluded that Williams-Henry had suffered a "moderately severe" brain injury from the fall as well as skull and other bone fractures and went on to suffer from depression, anxiety, and mild post-traumatic stress disorder after spending eight days in intensive care.

But Ritchie said that "overall" he found Williams-Henry to have been "dishonest and manipulative," so he could dismiss the case.

"I know it looks like a large sum of money to deprive a genuinely injured person of, but Parliament sought to stamp out dishonesty, which is fundamental in personal injury claims, and the claimant has breached this law," he said.

Correction: April 15, 2024 — An earlier version of this story included an outdated description of Andrew Ritchie's role on the High Court of England and Wales.

Read the original article on Business Insider