In this personal injury case the car accident occurred in February 2021. The plaintiff alleged severe and ongoing injuries affecting her ability to work as a registered nurse.(Wiggins v. Yokota 2023 BCSC 219)
The ICBC lawyer originally on the case did not plead the Minor Injury cap as a defense. The new lawyer sought to amend her response to the plaintiff’s claim, arguing that the injuries fell within the minor-injury category defined by the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. The defendant claimed that the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) had exclusive jurisdiction over determining whether the injuries were minor.
The court, considering factors such as delay, prejudice, and the connection between existing claims and the proposed defense, ruled against allowing the amendment. The plaintiff had a trial date set, and the delay would cause financial and emotional hardship.
The court highlighted the physiatrist’s opinion that the injuries constituted a serious impairment, not a minor injury. Disallowing the amendment was deemed just and convenient, considering the plaintiff’s entitlement to a speedy resolution.
In conclusion, the court dismissed ICBC’s application, expressing doubt about the merit of the minor injury defense and emphasizing the plaintiff’s claims exceeding the CRT monetary limit.