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Mom loses $820,000 injuries claim after she was pictured tossing a Christmas tree

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Her case was felled by a Christmas tree throwing competition.

A mother has had her $820,000 insurance claim dismissed by a court in Ireland after a picture emerged of her winning a contest to see who could toss a tree the farthest.

Kamila Grabska, 36, had claimed that a car accident in 2017 left her with “debilitating pain,” leaving her unable to lift heavy bags and keeping her in bed on bad days, according to disclosures made at Ireland’s High Court and reported by the Irish Independent newspaper.

The constant pain in her back, neck and thoracic spine left her unable to lift groceries, do chores or play with her two children, the newspaper reported the disclosures made to the court sitting in Limerick, as saying.

She sued RSA Insurance on the basis that she could not work for over five years, claiming for past and future loss of earnings which amounted to around $542,000 of her total claim, according to the Irish Independent.

Her case became unstuck when a photo published in the same newspaper almost a year after her accident showed Grabska winning a Christmas tree throwing contest.

Wearing a yellow jacket, the picture taken in January 2018, shows her forcefully throwing the tree in the town of Ennis in western Ireland, where the championship, based on an old lumberjack competition, takes place. The winner is the person who throws it the longest distance.

A second picture published on the day, shows her smiling as she holds a mounted certificate declaring her champion.

When cross-examined in court, Grabska said she still felt pain when she threw the Christmas tree, and was smiling in photos because she was trying to “live a normal life,” the Irish Independent reported.

But Judge Carmel Stewart, who presided over the case, said she had no choice but to dismiss the claim because of the “very graphic picture” of Grabska throwing the Christmas tree which was “at odds” with the medical evidence provided. “I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated,” she said.

She also took into consideration footage from last November, played to the court, showing Grabska play-wrestling with a big Dalmatian dog for up to 1.5 hours, according to the paper.  

An entry on the Courts Service of Ireland says Grabska’s case was dismissed last week. It did not contain any further details of the case.

NBC News reached out to both RSA insurance and Grabska’s legal representatives for a statement.

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