Court Awards Our Client $280,000 at Trial, Six Times More Than ICBC’s Offer

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

Mussio Goodman is proud to announce our recent victory in in the BC Supreme Court, in which our client was awarded over $280,000.

ICBC offered her $47,000 before trial, forcing her to take her case in front of a judge.

In Cox v Acapulco 2020 BCSC 1135, Mr. Justice Walker sided with our client, a 57-year-old woman who moved to Canada 36 years ago. She was involved in two accidents, one in May 2015 and the second in July 2016. As a result, she suffered numerous injuries to her neck, back, and shoulder, which significantly impacted her ability to live her life and work. While she tried to maintain her ambitious work schedule, her continued requests to her employer for support caused her to be dismissed from her company.  She used her sterling reputation in the industry to obtain a few subsequent jobs, but each proved too much in light of her injuries and pain. She ended up assisting one of her daughters with a uniform company start-up, providing contacts and valuable insight from her years of experience in the industry.

Before the accidents, our client was energetic, physically active, organized, motivated, well-liked, and cheerful before the accidents. She was a proud single mother, raising 4 children on her own while building up a lucrative career as a salesperson. She was actively involved in her temple and went salsa dancing 4-5 times per week. However, her life was drastically changed following these accidents. She suffered injuries to her neck, back, and shoulder, as well as myofascial pain syndrome and tension headaches. She was no longer able to live the full, rich life she previously led.

In response to our claim for fair compensation for our client’s injuries and limitations, ICBC levied a series of arguments against our client, all of which Justice Walker rejected. The case was marked by a clear pattern of us providing concrete evidence of our client’s injuries and limitations, and ICBC countering with arguments that lacked any evidentiary basis.

ICBC primarily argued that the accidents merely exacerbated some pre-existing conditions. This argument was based on a handwritten clinical note from a chiropractor, an incident where our client was prescribed pain medications several years before the accidents, and the testimony of our client’s friend about when our client stopped dancing. Justice Walker dismissed this argument as speculative, noting that ICBC did not verify the chiropractic record with the chiropractor or our client, the client’s family doctor advised those pain medications could have been prescribed for any number of reasons, and that the friend was confused about dates and was therefore unreliable in this regard. Justice Walker concluded:

Thus, there is no evidence to establish the defendants’ theory that Ms. Cox suffered from pre-existing injuries or symptoms at the time of the First Accident…

There is also no evidence to establish a measurable risk or a real and substantial possibility (as opposed to speculation) that any of Ms. Cox’s pre-First Accident neck or back stiffness would have manifested as an injury in future absent the Accidents. Nor is there any evidence to establish that the injuries she sustained in the Prior Motor Vehicle Accident were aggravated or contributed to the injuries she sustained in the Accidents.

In this case, because ICBC was unwilling to consider our client’s reasonable offer, the corporation will likely end up paying twice the costs for going to trial. This is indicative of the widespread unreasonableness that permeates ICBC. Having to pay double costs provides a measure of accountability where ICBC refuses to make fair offers to injured persons. With the newly passed “no-fault” legislation coming into force next year, this accountability will be gone, giving ICBC free-reign to treat accident victims even more unfairly than it already does.