Hastings Direct and Keoghs have been successful in a tort of deceit claim against five defendants resulting in one of the largest ever exemplary damages awards arising from a single incident, worth £50,000.
Top 40 law firm Keoghs was instructed to represent Hastings Direct after suspicions around the claimed incident arose.
The accident allegedly took place between a BMW and Range Rover in London, May 2020, with claims brought for injury, vehicle damage and credit hire. A total of five people were found to be involved in the fraud; the driver of the BMW, Mr Hasan Boztepe along with his wife and daughter who claimed to have been his passengers, Mr Chris Leo, the driver of the Range Rover, and Mr Umut Demir the owner of a local garage who claimed to have completed repairs on Mr Leo’s vehicle before buying it significantly under value.
A total of almost £50,000 was paid out by Hastings before an investigation into the accident revealed links between the five defendants. Phone records revealed that Mr Leo and Mr Demir had spoken on a number of occasions on the day before the alleged accident as well as shortly before and after the incident took place. Forensic engineering evidence also cast doubt on the account provided by the parties involved and photographs from the scene showed no passengers were in the BMW.
Instructed by Hastings, Keoghs brought a claim in the tort of deceit against Mr Boztepe, Mr Leo, Mr Demir and both alleged passengers in the BMW, securing an exemplary damages award of £50,000 along with an order for repayment of the outlay and costs on the indemnity basis, totalling £125,000. Hastings were represented by Steven Turner of Parklane Plowden Chambers at the final hearing.
Danny Newton, Fraud Partner at Keoghs said:
“This result is testament to Hastings’ commitment to tackling fraudulent claims. It was great to obtain such a significant exemplary damages award, being one of the largest reported awards arising from a single alleged accident, which shows that the courts are willing and able to make such awards when insurers take the appropriate action”.
Kay Denyer, Head of Claims Fraud at Hastings Direct said:
“This fantastic result demonstrates how great investigative work to uncover a fraud coupled with a strategic approach in litigation has resulted in a significant recovery for Hastings Direct. Collisions such as this one, organised by individuals purely for the purpose of making a financial gain are a real risk to our honest customers. This outcome, supported by Keoghs highlights why we’re committed to pursuing recoveries against those responsible.”
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