A workman seeking £50,000 compensation for a back injury has been scolded after footage emerged of him ‘surfing’ downstairs.
Videos of Christopher Clinton have appeared online showing him partaking in everything from “surfing” down a flight of stairs to skiing.
But Clinton was seeking more than £50,000 in compensation following a car accident in 2016 on the A66 in Middlesbrough which he claims left him unable to work.
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The 29-year-old man from Thornaby, at the time of the accident, reported injuries to his lumbar spine, hips and right shoulder.
He claimed the injuries made him unfit to work as an asbestos remover because his job involved a lot of climbing, squatting and heavy lifting.
As teeside live reports, in 2017, Mr. Clinton made a claim for lost earnings due to his inability to work as well as ongoing pain.
Insurance company AXA UK has set aside up to £50,000 for the claim and a further £40,000 for Mr Clinton’s legal costs.
But due to his relatively young age and the simple nature of the car accident, the insurance company launched an investigation.
Mr Clinton was discovered after various social media posts and videos showed him rock climbing, skiing and swimming.
He was even filmed surfing down a flight of stairs at a construction site after the accident.
Damian Rourke, of law firm Clyde & Co, said: “Mr Clinton’s posts showed a very active individual performing extreme and demanding physical activities shortly after the accident.
“These included activities like rock climbing and skiing that simply could not be done or even contemplated by someone with the persistent physical problems reported.”
Mr Clinton dropped his claim in October 2021 when confronted with social media evidence.
Assistant District Judge Crammond, sitting in Middlesbrough County Court on January 21, ruled 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 attempt to exaggerate injuries in order to get money.
“Mr. Clinton certainly did not help himself by filling his social media with videos of sports and activities, which could not have been done if his claims were true.
“Furthermore, at a time when the pandemic has created a traffic jam throughout the justice system, his action has been a complete waste of the court’s time and has delayed other more worthwhile cases.”
Tom Wilson, head of fraud operations at AXA UK, added: “The decision against Mr Clinton should serve as a warning to anyone considering making a fraudulent claim.
“This was a clear attempt by Mr. Clinton to take full advantage of an incident by overstating his insurance claim.
“Visual evidence found on Mr. Clinton’s social media following the event highlighted the extent of the deception.”
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