A man who claimed £130,000 in damages after fracturing his back in a workplace accident insists he’s no fraudster.
Amateur bodybuilder Curt Gorog, 30, of Almondbury , was pictured showing off his toned physique in photographs released after a court hearing.
But Mr Gorog claimed he’d been misrepresented, although he accepted a judge’s decision that he had been “fundamentally dishonest.”
Mr Gorog told the Examiner he fractured his back in a fall at Oakwood Kitchens in Grange Moor in November, 2012.
He says he wasn’t fit for work until late 2016 or early 2017 and submitted a claim for compensation and loss of earnings.
However, the firm’s insurance company QBE Insurance contested the case and, claims Mr Gorog, set about following him to capture evidence that his injuries were not as severe as he said.
The insurance company said in the hearing at Manchester County Court last month Gorog questioned about previous whiplash and personal injury claims for which he received thousands of pounds in damages and attending benefits assessments in a wheelchair as late as March 2016 and receiving more than £50,000 in benefit payments.
He was also asked about social media evidence including a video uploaded in August 2016 showing him doing 22 press-ups with a child on his back and gym surveillance footage on the March 15, 2017, showing his vigorous weightlifting routines.
Mr Gorog said pictures of him posing topless in the mirror and clutching two bottles of champagne were taken on holiday in Tenerife in September, 2017 when he was fully fit again.
The hearing was also told of a previous court case in which Mr Gorog was a passenger in a car which fled police at Grange Moor at speeds of up to 109mph.
Mr Gorog threw cannabis out of the window and later admitted assisting an offender and was given a six-month suspended jail sentence.
Mr Gorog said the county court was told he ran away from police before being caught but he denied that was true.
He said he inadvertently signed a document to the county court ending his claim, and a judge then found against him. He has now been ordered to pay £35,000 in costs.
Of the accident, Mr Gorog said: “I could have been left with life-threatening injuries if I had landed on my head. Or if I had fractured my T5 vertebrae I could have been paralysed.”
Now back at work as a self-employed builder, he added: “I still do have back pain. I go to the gym and exercise but I am still in a lot of pain every day.
“I had an accident but suddenly it is me being hammered for it. I am not a fraudster.
“I put my hands up. I accept that I’ve been fundamentally dishonest but there are things said that just aren’t right.”