The claimant in this personal injury lawsuit(Willard v. Mitchell ) claims losses arising from a motor vehicle accident. This court application, brought by the ICBC lawyers, seeks to force the injury claimant to provide to ICBC medical and business records.
The injury claimant says that she sustained personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident which occurred in Penticton, BC which include injuries to her jaw, neck, chest, back, left arm, right shoulder, hand and wrist, and both knees. She also claims gastrointestinal difficulties, headaches and anxiety, depressive symptoms, nightmares and sleep difficulties. The claimant says that due to her injuries she continues to sustain pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of amenities and loss of earnings.
The other driver denies fault, says the claimants injuries were not caused by the accident and are attributable to previous and/or subsequent accidents or pre‑existing conditions. The insurance company lawyer also says that the injury claimant failed to attend recommended treatment .
Because the court application was filed before the new Rules of Court, the old rule applied. The general principles therefore were considered. See: Dufault v. Stevens(1978), 86 D.L.R. (3d) 671 (B.C.C.A.). Disclosure of medical records is a concern to people all over North America. As the British Columbia court pointed out:
“The initial step is for the applicant to satisfy the court that the application is not in the nature of a fishing expedition, and that document in question contains information which may relate to a matter in issue. As explained in the oft‑cited Compagnie Financiere et Commerciale du Pacifique v. Peruvian Guano Co. (1882), 11 Q.B.D. 55 (C.A.), a document relating to a matter in issue is one which directly or indirectly may enable the party to advance his own case or destroy that of his adversary or which may fairly lead him to a train of inquiry or disclose evidence which may have either of these consequences.”
Under the old Rules of Court, eliminated at the end of June, 2010, the judge ordered production of substantially all the documents requested. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should injury claimants be forced to give ICBC their medical and personal financial records?