A JUDGE has ordered a woman to pay £70,000 in costs and damages following the ‘implausible’ claim that an independent garage deliberately tripped her up.
In a story that first appeared in the Mail Online, Yvette Thomas had lodged a £200,000 compensation claim against the workshop, saying that an alleged fall had left her injured and unable to work.
She also claimed she had been forced to cancel an overseas holiday, quit dancing lessons and could no longer go to the gym.
Southwick Service Centre in Trowbridge, Wiltshire denied that she tripped and said a hosepipe in a valeting bay had only brushed against her leg.
Hospital records show that Thomas had been examined at A&E by medical staff but X-rays showed no signs of trauma.
District Judge Francis Goddard told Bath County Court: “In my judgment the case that Mrs Thomas puts forward simply does not add up.
“I do not find her story in any way believable notwithstanding that she may well have by now convinced herself that what she said happened did happen.
“Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that, on a hearing of the evidence, is quite implausible.
“It was not a pre-thought out plan.
“The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.”
Thomas had said the alleged incident took place when she dropped her daughter’s Mini Cooper at the garage for an MOT, saying that a someone cleaning a car had deliberately tripped her up with an industrial pressure washer hose.
Car valeter, Edward Slow said: “I was rather angry when I heard what she was saying. “I remember her coming in.
“She was walking around and she said the hosepipe rubbed against her leg and that it was an accident waiting to happen.
“Then suddenly it became this whole story that I had deliberately tripped her up – something I would never do.”
Solicitor Tim Marshal of DFE Law who acted on behalf of the garage told the Mail: “Mrs Thomas painted a picture of being a very disabled woman as a result of this. She said she couldn’t leave the house without a walking stick, drink a cup of tea or clean her teeth”.
“But a surveillance firm hired to follow her found that she was walking fine and there was no sign of any physical impairment – no walking stick, nothing”.