Insurer may be a party to a tort claim.

On June 22, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court held that a plaintiff’s insurer may be added as a party to a tort action where the tortfeasor’s insurance limits will likely be insufficient, and the plaintiff intends to seek compensation under its insurer’s “underinsured” liability coverage. The case, MacPherson v. White, 2016 BCSC 1151, arose out of a head-on collision between two motor vehicles; one driven by the plaintiff Joseph MacPherson, the other was driven by the defendant, Dallas White. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries in the accident, and the defendant’s...

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Use social media at your peril.

On June 7, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court rejected claimed damages in a personal injury lawsuit due, in part, to concerns about the plaintiff’s credibility arising out of Facebook photos entered as evidence at trial. In Brennan v. Colinders, 2016 BCSC 1026, the plaintiff was involved in a 2012 motor vehicle accident for which the defendants admitted fault. The plaintiff claimed that the accident caused chronic problems which continued up to the time of trial. The judge rejected this claim, finding that the collision-related injuries had resolved. In awarding $20,000 in non-pecuniary...

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Court punishes defendants for not making admissions.

On May 25, 2016, the BC Supreme Court found the defendants at fault for a motor vehicle accident, and ordered that the defendants pay double costs for an “unreasonable” refusal to make admissions of facts sought in a notice to admit. In Ceperkovic v. MacDonald, 2016 BCSC 939, the defendants were sued for damages arising out of an accident involving three motor vehicles.  Prior to trial the defendants were served with a Notice to Admit seeking admission of various facts.  The defendants did not admit all of these facts requiring ultimate proof at trial. In finding the refusal to...

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Plagiarism renders expert report inadmissible.

On May 19, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Saunders, ruled that an expert report was inadmissible into evidence for numerous reasons, particularly plagiarism. In Anderson v. Pieters, 2016 BCSC 889,  the defence objected to the admissibility of a report produced by the plaintiff’s physician on numerous grounds.  The judge excluded the report stating that he “would not qualify Dr. Sank as an expert capable of offering the opinion evidence tendered in the April Report.” Saunders J. then identified a far more serious concern, namely that the physician...

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$90,000 damages for chronic neck and back pain.

On March 30, 2016, the BC Supreme Court assessed damages for chronic soft tissue injuries suffered in two motor vehicle accidents (“MVAs”). In Niijar v. Hill the plaintiff was involved in two MVAs, the first in 2010 the second in 2012.  The defendants admitted liability for both accidents.  As a result of one or both of the accidents, the plaintiff suffered from chronic neck and back soft tissue injuries which continued to the time of trial and were expected to continue into the future.  The Court assessed non-pecuniary damages at $90,000, but reduced this amount by 15% on the...

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CFL concussion case fails for lack of jurisdiction.

On March 11, 2016, the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court dismissed a case brought by a former BC Lions football for concussion related injuries, on the basis of wording in the league and player’s collective bargaining agreement. In Bruce v. Cohon, 2016 BCSC 491, the plaintiff, who played professional football with the CFL from 2001 – 2014, sued the league and its individual teams alleging that his career led to multiple concussions and sub-concussive injuries and he was negligently allowed to continue playing while displaying these symptoms. The defendants argued that the Court had no...

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