Clyde & Co's fraud team has achieved savings of over £30,000 and a finding of fundamental dishonesty in its most recent claim, along with costs awarded in the sum of £15,000.
The claimant advised that she had contacted Benjamin Bourne (the defendant) via Facebook and that he provided her with a quote to paint her house, which she accepted. She further stated that when he came to carry out the work, she explicitly told him not to stand on the garage roof. While painting the claimant’s house, the defendant fell through the garage roof and suffered injury and loss.
The claimant brought a claim for the damage to her garage roof. The defendant counter-claimed for personal injury and loss, alleging that he was the claimant’s friend and he had merely been helping her to paint the house. He further stated that he did not have a painting and decorating business, had not received any money from the claimant and that she had not told him to avoid standing on the garage roof.
Intelligence investigations uncovered a whole raft of Facebook evidence showing that the defendant did own his own painting and decorating business and had been working in the same area prior to the accident. He even had his own business card, which featured his mobile number. The evidence supported the claimant’s case that she and the defendant were not friends and never had been.
The defendant’s solicitor came off record when presented with the Facebook findings. In contrast, the defendant attempted to explain away the overwhelming evidence by alleging that it was his wife who painted and decorated, and his brother who had taken over the Facebook page.
The matter went to trial on 19 January 2023, but the defendant failed to attend.
District Judge Andrews was satisfied that the claimant and defendant were not friends. Moreover, she considered the counterclaim and defence to be an attempt to mislead, along with the assertion that the Facebook page belonged to someone else. The claim was ruled fundamentally dishonest and enforceable costs were awarded in our client’s favour.