Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Brain-damaged woman injured in fall ‘thoroughly dishonest’ in compensation bid

11 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Aberavon Pier. Photo via YouTube

A woman who suffered brain damage after falling off a pier in Wales has lost out on almost £600,000 after a High Court judge ruled she had been “thoroughly dishonest” in her bid for compensation.

Kirsty Williams-Henry sustained multiple injuries after falling from Aberavon Pier, near Port Talbot, on the night of July 21 2018.

She sued the pier’s owner, Associated British Ports Holdings Ltd, for damages, but the company said the 33-year-old’s claim should be dismissed as she had been dishonest.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, Mr Justice Ritchie said that he would have awarded Ms Williams-Henry £596,704 in damages for her “genuine” injuries, but dismissed her claim as she was a “regular liar”.

Dishonest

He said: “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 and have sought to mislead clinicians, medicolegal experts and this court about the claimant’s health, functioning, activities of daily living and her work abilities.

“Looking at the claimant’s statements which I have identified as lies… objectively, taking into account what a reasonable member of the public would consider to be honest, knowing all of the relevant facts, I have come to the conclusion that the claimant and her mother have been objectively dishonest.”

The judge said that Ms Williams-Henry, from Port Talbot, had been drinking when she visited the pier with her family after reports that bioluminescent plankton had been spotted in the sea.

While returning to the shore, she fell between four and five metres onto rocks and sand, with no safety barriers along the pier.

Mr Justice Ritchie said that she 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.

She took legal action against the company in 2021, claiming more than £2.3 million in damages, with liability settled two-thirds in her favour.

The firm said that while it believed she was only entitled to around £370,000, Ms Williams-Henry’s claim should be dismissed as she had been dishonest about the extent of her injuries and how they affected her daily life.

In a trial held over 11 days in Cardiff last month, Ms Williams-Henry said that she had not received proper rehabilitation since the incident and that she had “good days and bad days” as a result of her injuries, which caused her problems in her personal and professional life.

‘No life’

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

But Mr Justice Ritchie said that “overall” he found Ms Williams-Henry was “dishonest and manipulative”.

In his 99-page ruling, he found that she lied in insurance and benefits forms, despite working for the insurance firm Admiral until last year.

He said she had made “substantial exaggerations and some lies” to both the court and medical experts about her health difficulties and their effects, adding that some of her evidence was “some of the least impressive that I have ever heard”.

As a result of the dishonesty, the judge ruled that he could dismiss the claim.

He continued: “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.

“Finally, I take into account that the claimant was wholly unrepentant when she gave evidence and had sought, in parallel, to defraud the Department for Work and Pensions and Legal & General insurance about her disabilities.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Swnio fel cari dym go iawn.

A Evans
A Evans
1 month ago

And she is the tip of the claims scams.

Welk
Welk
1 month ago

Don’t people realise it’s theft!.. no morals ,no scruples entitled !..

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.