A JUDGE has praised an Ennis personal fitness trainer for posting workout videos of himself on Facebook and Instagram shortly after sustaining injuries when a taxi driver drove at him, writes Gordon Deegan.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan stated that it is to Kris Flynn’s credit and not to his debit that he was out promoting himself online so soon after a traffic incident in the Aldi car park in Ennis on June 11 2017.
Judge O’Callaghan made his comments before awarding €18,500 in general damages to Mr Flynn (36) of Cappahard, Ennis for the back, neck and shoulder injuries sustained and an additional €1,720 for medical and physio expenses.
An investigator employed by the taxi-driver, Michael Maher’s insurers played a showreel of Mr Flynn working out at a gym lifting various weights to the court.
Two were posted the same day of the incident and counsel for Mr Maher’s insurers, Donal O’Rourke BL stated that the videos were being shown in court concerning the credibility of Mr Flynn.
However, Mr Flynn told the court that the videos were shot prior to the road incident and the first video of him where he is working out after the June incident was shot in October 2017.
Mr O’Rourke stated that liability was admitted in the case and the case was before Judge O’Callaghan to assess the scale of damages to be awarded to Mr Flynn.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that nothing is being hidden in the videos and “Mr Flynn is to be complimented for continuing at his work despite his injuries”.
The judge added that the videos were advertising and didn’t contradict Mr Flynn’s claim in a material or fundamental way.
The two doctors who examined Mr Flynn’s injuries did so with the knowledge that he was back in the gym, Judge O’Callaghan said.
He added that Mr Flynn suffered symptoms to his shoulder/neck complaint and had a traction type injury to his shoulder.
Mr Flynn is an expert on the workings of his own body, said Judge O’Callaghan, “and knows where to push a certain shoulder unlike the rest of us”.
The judge said the circumstances in which Mr Flynn sustained the injuries “are nothing short of disgraceful”.
Mr Flynn was on the bonnet of Mr Maher’s taxi for 10 metres after the car was driven towards him at speed in the Aldi car-park in Ennis.
Mr Maher left the scene and Mr Flynn was able to get his registration plate after taking a photo with his mobile phone.
Mr Flynn’s daughter, Isabel, then aged nine, was in his nearby car at the time of the incident. Speaking after the case, Mr Flynn said there was “huge relief” at the judge’s ruling and comments.
He said, “This has dragged out for almost four years, and to have it end, go in my favour and then to have the judge speak so positively about me was about as good an ending as possible.”
Mr Flynn said that “a good chunk” of the pay-out will be going into Isabel’s savings account “and when things get back to normal we’ll go on a nice holiday and the rest will be put aside”.
“To exercise it really was the best pain management I could find. I had initially gone to my GP a few days after the incident.
“Between December 2017 up to now I had about a dozen medical assessments and made sure to be transparent about being active.”
Mr Flynn revealed at one stage that his own legal team contacted him saying the insurance company was aware he had been posting exercise videos and it would probably be better to set his social media accounts to private.
He said: “I disagreed and said I’ve been honest about exercising and also I’m a self-employed single father and need to advertise my business.”
Mr Flynn said, “I believe honesty is the best policy and I turned down an offer (before court) that would have barely covered my legal costs and opted to go before the judge.”
He said: “I’ve been extremely active my entire life and I’m also educated in the area and was very comfortable with what I can and can’t do. At the second follow-up with my GP he said my level of activity most likely prevented me getting injured worse in the incident.”