Several times in the last year, Jacqueline Small of our firm has been interviewed by Canadian Lawyer on current trends and trial decisions that impact the area of injury law in British Columbia. We are proud to stay ahead of the curve and to remain up to date on the law. We believe this is the best way to properly serve our clients with their injury claims against ICBC.
In Zhang v. 328633 BC Ltd. 2020 BCSC 1521, the injured claimant was injured on a transit bus when the bus driver was forced to brake aggressively to avoid a vehicle that tried to make a right turn across the bus lane. The driver of this vehicle fled the scene and was never identified.
ICBC denied the injured claimant’s claim on 2 grounds. First, that she failed to take steps to identify the unidentified driver as required by the hit and run law which is ground for complete dismissal of the claim. Second, that the bus driver was not negligent and that the unidentified driver was fully at fault.
It was discovered that there was a video of the motor vehicle accident which was extremely damaging to ICBC’s case and its wrongful denial of the claim. In fact, the video showed that the bus driver was at fault and that the unidentified driver was in fact identifiable. What is disturbing is that ICBC came into possession of this video and failed to disclose it for 7 years despite the law requiring ICBC to disclose it immediately and when they first came into possession of it. Disturbingly, ICBC gave no explanation as to why they did not disclose the video for years.
An award of special costs was made against ICBC for reprehensible conduct for failing to disclose the video and wasting the court’s time during trial by continuing to deny the injured claimant’s claim despite the overwhelming video evidence.
As noted in our previous blog article, this is not the first time ICBC has been publicly punished for reprehensible conduct at trial for withholding evidence that was damaging to ICBC’s own case.