Court Awards Our Client over $600,000 After Rejecting ICBC’s Arguments

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

Mussio Goodman is pleased to share our recent success following an eight-day trial in the BC Supreme Court. In Singh v Liske, 2023 BCSC 2016, the Court awarded over $600,000 to our client, who suffered both physical and psychological injuries following two motor vehicle accidents.

Our client, a 39-year-old career-driven woman, had immigrated to Canada from Fiji on a skilled worker visa shortly before her first accident. While in Fiji, she obtained a degree in finance and economics and worked as a personal financial analyst. She secured a banking advisor internship in Canada only a few months after her arrival, which she was in the process of completing when the first accident occurred. Following the first accident, she was unable to return to her internship program due to her accident-related injuries and symptoms. Despite ICBC’s argument that regardless of the accidents, the plaintiff may have never completed her internship and moved on to becoming a banking advisor, the court concluded otherwise, stating:

[73]      Ms. Singh worked at a bank for eight years before moving to Canada and then obtained a job in the banking industry despite her depression and the difficulties she was having adjusting to Canada.

[74]      I agree with the plaintiff’s assertion that but for the accident, the plaintiff would have remained at RBC and received her training income until the end of 2017 and then moved on to become a bank advisor in 2018 and that the base income of a bank advisor should be used, adjusted for yearly inflation up to the time of trial.

As a result, our client was awarded over $350,000 for her past and future wage loss.

Furthermore, our firm successfully rebutted ICBC’s argument that our client failed to mitigate her damages by not pursuing further treatments, despite her adherence to her doctors’ recommendations. ICBC submitted to the Court that her damages should have been reduced by 15%. The Court rejected this argument, stating:

[47]      Our Court of Appeal set out the law on failure to mitigate in Haug v. Funk2023 BCCA 110. This requires a defendant to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that failure, in this case, to follow medical recommendations would have reduced Ms. Singh’s damages or symptoms.

[48]      The defendants say that Ms. Singh should have pursued more treatment modalities; and if she did so, given the positive prognosis for improvement, her symptoms would have been lessened.

[49]      Ms. Singh does not have a general practitioner. She relies upon the physicians at her clinic to provide her with medical advice and relies upon their opinions. She consulted with her treating physician at the medical clinic about all of her treatment choices. I agree with defence counsel that Ms. Singh advocated for the treatment choices and her physician agreed with her choices. In these circumstances, though, I am of the view that it was reasonable for her to follow their medical advice.

Singh v Liske exemplifies how ICBC will make unfounded arguments in an attempt to diminish all aspects of damages and undermine a plaintiff’s claim. In securing this favorable outcome for our client, Mussio Goodman demonstrated a robust understanding of both legal intricacies and the client’s unique circumstances. Through diligent representation, we effectively countered ICBC’s assertions, ensuring that our client’s rights were protected and upheld by the court. The decision not only reflects the strength of our advocacy but also underscores our commitment to pursuing justice for those we represent.