Horwich Farrelly, the specialist insurance industry legal services firm, alongside Covea Insurance, have recovered £35,000 in legal costs after successfully defending a claim involving a fraudulent physiotherapy invoice. The claim brought by Marc Elvidge, for injuries following an accident with a Covea customer, relied on an invoice for treatment from physiotherapist Mark Browes at 10 Bridge Limited, formerly 10 Bridge Physio Ltd.
A judge found this invoice to be fraudulent and threw out Elvidge’s entire claim, finding it to be fundamentally dishonest. 10 Bridge attempted to appeal this finding and failed. The trial judge reached this decision, which was then upheld by the appeal judge. The judge ruled that 10 Bridge pay Covea’s legal costs, agreed at £35,000.
Kelly McQuaid, the Associate Partner who handled the case at Horwich Farrelly, said: “Insurers rely on the honesty and integrity of the medical profession when assessing claims for physical injury. In this case, 10 Bridge was found to have presented a fraudulent invoice, and the compensation claim was tainted by reliance on this and thrown out.”
Jared Mallinson, Partner and Head of Counter Fraud at Horwich Farrelly, said: “It is rare for a physiotherapy company to be found to have presented a fraudulent document and this case marks an important victory over such a professional organisation. Not only was the claim thrown out, but 10 Bridge were ordered to repay Covea’s costs. Horwich Farrelly lead the market in terms of findings of Fundamental Dishonesty. We believe it is important for insurers to not only challenge fraudulent claims but to seek justice against those who are involved in them to deter others from doing the same.”
Ben Summerscales, Senior Technical Lead – Financial Crime at Covea, said: “Covea is committed to paying genuine claims and ensuring a fair outcome for victims. We will investigate and challenge claims where we believe someone is being dishonest. In this case, not only did the claimant try to make a dishonest claim against our customer and ended up with their case being thrown out, but an assumed reputable and professional company were found to have presented a fraudulent invoice in support of the claim and ended up having to repay our legal fees. This is a victory for our genuine customers against those that would try it on to make easy money from an accident.”