Judge throws out fitness instructor’s €60k fall claim after seeing ‘extreme physical activity’ snaps on Instagram

A 33-year-old fitness instructor, who claimed she injured her back in a fall down steps in a shopping centre, posted on-line pictures of herself engaged in extreme physical activities following the incident, a judge heard today.

Judge Sarah Berkeley in the Circuit Civil Court dismissed Kimberly Hynes’s €60,000 damages claim for personal injuries against the owner of Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, where she said she had slipped on a wet stairs and bumped down three steps.

“I don’t believe her GP knew she was engaged in these activities and on the basis of the medical evidence of her own doctor she has exaggerated her injuries in court,” Judge Berkeley said. She threw out Hynes’s case and awarded legal costs against her.

Judge Berkeley said that what appeared in a medical report by Dr Yvonne Rafter was not consistent with activities Ms Hynes had posted on her Instagram account and which she had confirmed in evidence during cross-examination.

The court was shown pictures and videos of Ms Hynes taken from Instagram showing her exercising on a trampoline, jumping from a stand-still position onto tyres and doing walks at the Hell Fire Club and on Bray Head, among other activities.

Hynes, of Mountainview Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 told the court that in January 2016 she had been walking down wet steps to the car park at Nutgrove Shopping Centre where she worked as a fitness instructor when she fell.

She had been shocked and embarrassed and felt pain in her lower back and elbow. When the pain became worse she had gone to her doctor 10 days afterwards and had been referred for X-rays. She had undergone a number of physiotherapy sessions and after several months had to give up her work as a fitness instructor and work as a secretary for a year before returning to her work as a physical instructor.

Ms Hynes said she had always been very fit and had engaged in the hobbies as outlined to the court from her Instagram account prior to the accident. As well as undergoing physiotherapy she had been advised to exercise.

On behalf of the defendant Hurley Property Icav it was suggested the extreme activities she had engaged in were not consistent with someone who had been suffering back pain. Ms Hynes said she was now still working as a fitness instructor.

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