An employers’ duty to accommodate can impact the amount of ICBC injury claim settlement. In this case review, a car accident injury was claimed to have been settled on the mistaken understanding that the employer was willing to accommodate the injury.

About a month before the trial of the car accident claims, the claimant sent the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, an offer of settlement for $780,000. Her lawyer met with her manager to prepare for trial.

At this meeting the claimant alleged the employer misrepresented the extent to which it would accommodate her in the workplace following her return to work. She said she relied on the misrepresentation in accepting ICBC’s formal offer to settle for a total of $325,000.

The Court of Appeal dismissed a claim of negligent misrepresentation against an employer. This was found to be an employment‑based dispute engaging the employer’ obligations related to employment as set out in the collective agreement. Therefore, an appropriate remedy in damages could only be awarded under arbitration:

[19]  Telus and Ms. Stene were subject to the collective agreement with the Union in effect at the time of the alleged misrepresentation, at the time of Ms. Stene’s acceptance of the ICBC settlement offer, and at the time of her subsequent return to work.(Stene v. Telus Communications Company, 2019 BCCA 215)

Reasonable Offer to Settle vs. Offers that Ought Reasonably be Accepted

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