This was an assessment of the injury claimant’s bill of costs in a personal injury action that was settled at a mediation some three and a half months before the trial. The issue was whether it was reasonable to incur the cost of a vocational assessment when the claimant was already at the age of retirement (Thompson v. Lowey,2016 BCSC 65). The vocational assessment was conducted by Derek Nordin at a cost of $3,755.

The claimant was 61 years old when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck from behind. Although the claimant was 66 years of age at the time of the application, her financial circumstances were such that she intended to continue to work.

The purpose of the vocational assessment was to help the court with an assessment of how the claimant’s physical limitations impact upon her ability to earn an income. The court accepted that in the circumstances, it was reasonable to retain Mr. Nordin to perform a vocational assessment stating, “While a functional capacity evaluation will address a plaintiff’s physical limitations, it does not address the kinds of employment positions for which the plaintiff may be suited, whether by aptitude or interest.”

Also, ICBC alleged that the claimant had failed to mitigate her damages because she failed to seek and obtain alternative employment and the report assisted in rebutting this pleading.

The claimant was entitled to the costs of the application. This is yet another example of ICBC fighting after settlement.

Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B

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