Judge dismisses GP’s €60,000 compensation claim for ‘slight bump’ 

A Longford-based GP has been accused of deliberately exaggerating a “low-speed” traffic accident and of misleading a court in relation to injuries he is said to have sustained in another incident two years earlier. 
Dr Syed Shadzad Ali (64), of Lanagh, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, claimed he was “jerked forcibly forward” when another motorist collided with the side of his vehicle in the car park of his GP’s office in Longford in June 2017. The defendant’s vehicle was travelling at speeds of about 10km per hour, according to a defence expert, who called it a “slight bump”. 
 
Dismissing Dr Ali’s claim for up to €60,000 personal injuries on Thursday, Judge Karen Fergus said the GP “should have been well aware of the need for accuracy and full disclosure” in his claim “by virtue of his profession”. 
 
Judge Fergus said she was aware of the dangers of “seizing upon anomalies and inconsistencies” that can arise in evidence and the damage that can be caused “to the good name of a worthy plaintiff”. 
 
However, she said the “extent of the inconsistencies and the level of exaggeration” in Dr Ali’s claim led her to conclude the GP probably knowingly gave exaggerated and misleading evidence. 
 
Dr Ali sued businessman Eugene O’Brien at Longford Circuit Court arising out of the incident on June 7th, 2017. 
 
Mr O’Brien, accepted responsibility but argued that the nature of the impact was so minimal that Dr Ali could not have suffered the injuries, loss or damage he was claiming. 
 
‘Jerked forward’ 
Dr Ali told the defendant’s medical examiner the impact was “severe” and that he had been “jerked forcibly forward”. The medical examiner did not agree but said it was a slight bump which, in his opinion, could not possibly have caused any injury . 
 
The GP claimed he was stationary when Mr O’Brien’s vehicle reversed into his rear resulting in a “violent” jolt. However, CCTV footage showed that Dr Ali’s car was was driving slowly towards the parking space. 
 
Dr Ali stated his GP had diagnosed him with post-traumatic shock. But his GP confirmed that he did not make this diagnosis, the judge said. 
 
Dr Ali said he initially availed of paracetamol two or three times a day immediately following the incident and that he was prescribed painkillers by his GP. 
 
However, it was clear from the notes of Dr Ali’s first visit to his GP five days after the incident that Dr Ali was on Panadol due to fasting for Ramadan, the judge said. No prescription was given and the following day, Dr Ali self-prescribed a number of medications for himself, she added. 
 
Judge Fergus dismissed the case and awarded costs against Dr Ali. 
 
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