Insurance reform group applauds CCTV decision in personal injury case


The Insurance Reform Alliance hailed a High Court ruling in support of fast food group Supermacs’ refusal to hand over CCTV footage to a plaintiff pursuing a personal injury case.

The decision came in a case where the restaurant admitted that a chair the complainant claimed to have fallen and injured was damaged prior to the incident.

The High Court upheld an earlier Circuit Court decision, which had been appealed by the plaintiff.

The High Court ruled that the only purpose that would be served by handing over the CCTV footage before the complainant testified and underwent cross-examination was whether the claim that they fell to the ground was correct.

The video surveillance equipment sought by way of discovery concerned “exclusively the question of the applicant’s credit”.

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said data protection law and public and employer liability laws “sometimes disagree, and in this particular case they disagreed “.

The alliance was aware of many similar cases, where liability was not an issue and a complainant had access to CCTV footage before presenting his side of events in an affidavit under oath.

In some cases, people have made data access requests for CCTV footage and then made their personal injury claims.

“It’s a source of great frustration for members who feel that business is built around CCTV footage. “

“Historical judgment”

Pat McDonagh, the founder of Supermacs, said the High Court judgment was a “landmark judgment”. He wondered why Supermacs had to take the case when there were “all these insurance companies dealing with cases like this, week after week, across the country.”

Neil McDonnell, chief executive of the small and medium-sized business organization Isme, said he believes the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is taking an “absolutist position” on data access rights in situations where the data was held by a prosecuted body.

He would like the matter to be “settled”. People do not need to have access to their CCTV footage before taking an oath.

The competing rights of the parties must be weighed, he said. “You cannot have an absolute right to the data. The system is really played now, and data protection laws are used to make it happen. “

In a recent letter to the Data Protection Commission, he said Isme doesn’t think it’s fair that a defendant should comply with a data access request when the person suing has failed to comply. not yet complied with its obligations with respect to the swearing of an affidavit under civil law. Liability and Courts Act 2004.

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