An Irish Mother’s $820 Thousand Injury Claim Was Dismissed After She Was Photographed Winning A Christmas Tree Tossing Contest

Published February 29, 2024

Kamila Grabska claimed a 2017 car crash left her unable to work for five years or even lift groceries without suffering "debilitating pain." Photos of her winning a tree throwing competition suggested otherwise.

Kamila Grabska

Eamon Ward/SWNSA 2018 photograph of Kamila Grabska participating in the tree throwing competition.

An Irish woman’s insurance claim was recently tossed out after photographs of her winning a Christmas tree throwing contest in January 2018 surfaced. The photos were taken 11 months after she was involved in an accident that she claimed left her unable to work for five years.

After the crash, Kamila Grabska quit her job and collected disability pay. She then decided to file an $820,000 lawsuit against RSA Insurance due to the extent of her supposed injuries — but the re-emergence of the photos put a wrench in her plans.

Kamila Grabska’s Alleged Injuries

As the Irish Independent reports, 36-year-old Kamila Grabska of Ennis, County Clare, was rear-ended on Feb. 3, 2017.

Grabska told the High Court in Limerick that the incident left her with severe, constant pain in her back, neck, and thoracic spine. According to Grabska, the “debilitating pain” left her unable to lift groceries, play with her children, or hold a job.

Grabska then sued RSA Insurance on the basis that she could not work for more than five years, resulting in a past and future loss of earnings amounting to roughly $542,000 of her $820,000 total claim.

The whole thing fell apart, however, when photos surfaced from a January 2018 newspaper article that pictured Grabska winning a Christmas tree throwing contest.

A Judge Dismisses The ‘Exaggerated’ Lawsuit

The photographs clearly show Grabska in a yellow jacket forcefully lobbing a sizeable Christmas tree. The contest is an annual championship hosted in Ennis that is based on an old lumberjack competition. The winner is determined by throwing distance, and Grabska happened to be able to throw the tree farther than any other competitor.

The tree in question was a roughly five-foot-tall spruce.

The newspaper also published a second photo showing Grabska smiling and holding a mounted certificate declaring her the champion.

Kamila Grabska Holding Her Certificate

Eamon Ward/SWNSKamila Grabska holding the certificate declaring her the winner of the ladies’ tree throwing contest.

“It is a very large, natural Christmas tree and it is being thrown by her in a very agile movement. I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated. On that basis, I propose to dismiss the claim,” said Judge Carmel Stewart, according to the Irish Independent.

When cross-examined in court, Grabska claimed she still felt pain when she threw the tree but that she was smiling in the photos because she was trying to “live a normal life.”

The judge also viewed another video that showed Grabska play-wrestling with her dog, a large Dalmatian, for over an hour in November 2023.

Judge Stewart ultimately said that the activities Grabska participated in post-crash were “completely at odds” with her medical claims.

The Courts Service of Ireland simply stated that Grabska’s case was dismissed but did not include any additional details. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for RSA Insurance said they were “very pleased with the outcome of this case and it sends out a clear message that we will robustly challenge any attempt to pursue claims that are not genuine.”

After reading about Kamila Grabska’s unique insurance claim, learn all about the history of the Christmas tree, from its Pagan origins to today. Or, see our list of 27 unusual Christmas traditions from around the world.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.