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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tom Ambrose

Woman loses £650,000 injury claim after being seen tossing Christmas tree

Kamila Grabska throwing a Christmas tree
Kamila Grabska sued an insurance company claiming injuries meant she was unable to work for more than five years or play with her children. Photograph: Eamon Ward/SWNS

A woman’s £650,000 claim for injuries allegedly suffered during a car crash has been thrown out of court in Ireland after she was pictured winning a Christmas tree-throwing competition.

Kamila Grabska, 36, sued an insurance company and said injuries to her back and neck meant she was unable to work for more than five years or play with her children. She claimed she was left with the “disabling” condition after a car she was travelling in was hit from behind in an accident in 2017.

However, the woman’s claim was thrown out by a high court judge in Limerick after a photograph came to light showing Grabska throwing a 5ft spruce at a charity event in January 2018.

The picture was published in a national newspaper and, while Grabska argued that she was still suffering from her injuries, Justice Carmel Stewart dismissed her claim in part due to the “graphic nature” of the image.

Kamila Grabska
Kamila Grabska won the ladies’ section of the Christmas tree-throwing championship in Ennis, Co Clare in 2018. Photograph: Eamon Ward/SWNS

“It is a very large, natural Christmas tree and it is being thrown by her in a very agile movement,” the judge was reported as saying in court by the Irish Independent newspaper.

“I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated. On that basis, I propose to dismiss the claim.”

The court had previously been told that the married mother-of-two, from Ennis in Co Clare, had spoken to doctors days after winning the Christmas tree-throwing contest.

She had claimed that she could no longer lift a heavy bag without suffering a shooting pain. Grabska quit her job and received disability payments, the court heard.

Her legal claim against the insurance company was for the loss of past and future earnings, with Grabksa saying she was unable to leave her bed for up to half a day at times. She said her husband had to bring her medication.

She denied faking her injuries and told the court she was “trying to live a normal life” and had still been in pain despite looking happy in the photograph.

The court also saw a video of Grabska training her dog in a park for more than an hour in addition to the Christmas tree contest pictures.

The judge ultimately dismissed her case, ruling that Grabska’s behaviour after the collision was “completely at odds” with the claims she had made in relation to her injuries.

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