If an offer to settle a personal injury claim with ICBC is not in the proper form and not served on all the parties of record, the court can deny costs even if the offer is beat- Granja v. Jozsef, 2017 BCSC 1087. The injury claimant offered to settle his case for $70,000 before trial. ICBC refused and after a 22 day trial ICBC was ordered to pay damages of $290,350.
ICBC opposed the application for double costs in relation to the offers to settle. It argued successfully that the first offer was not an “offer to settle” as defined in R. 9-1(1) because it did not contain the language in R. 9-1(1)(c)(iii), and that the second offer also failed to qualify under the Rule because it was not served on the defendant as required by R. 9-1(1)(c)(ii). As stated in Bronson v. Hewitt, 2011 BCSC 482 at para. 18:
… Rule 9-1(c)(ii) mandates that offers to settle be served on all parties of record. [The defendant’s] offer was not so served. While service on Mr. Tompkins [a party of record who was no longer an active participant in the litigation and who had no involvement in the portions of the case involving the defendant who made the offer] may or may not have had any practical effect on the settlement of this particular action, Rule 9-1 does not contemplate the Court embarking on a case by case investigation as to the impact of non-compliance. The authors of the rules chose the language of the rule. It is not for the Court to rewrite the rule or otherwise interpret it. I find the failure to deliver either the Trial Offer or the Costs offer to all parties of record is fatal to [the defendant’s] application. The offers are not offers to settle as defined in Rule 9-1 and the provisions of Rule 9-1 are not engaged.
The judge in this case similarly found that the claimant’s failure to serve the second offer on the defendant was fatal to his application for double costs. The second offer was not an “offer to settle” within the meaning of R. 9-1(1) and therefore the provisions of R. 9-1 were not engaged.
Here is an example of a proper form of offer to settle. Make sure it is served on all parties of record.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.