Mussio Goodman Law Client Awarded $115,000 At Trial After Rejecting $57,000 ICBC Offer

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

Mussio Goodman Successfully Wins Client $115,000 At Trial

We are pleased to announce that, following a five day trial in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, our client was awarded a total of $115,834.31 plus costs and disbursements.

Our client’s injuries, initially sustained in a 2008 motor vehicle accident at the intersection of 2nd Ave and Burrard, resulted in a diagnosis of musculoligamentous soft tissue injuries at the neck and thoracic spine.

One of the issues at trial involved the claim for $10,467 representing the treatment expenses our client incurred over the course of four years.

As per the written reasons of the Court, ICBC argued as follows:

[110] The defendants submit that the plaintiff likely made a substantial recovery within a year or so of the accident and that any expenses beyond that timeframe cannot be their responsibility. Further, they submit that on the evidence the physiotherapy and massage therapy treatments after the first eight months or so were of little assistance.

ICBC further submitted that, because a significant portion of the treatment and medication expenses were reimbursed through the client’s father’s extended benefits plan, ICBC should not have to repay the funds since that would amount to a “double recovery”.

In response, we argued that the medical evidence clearly indicated that our client was nowhere near a full recovery, and that her injuries had in fact plateaued.

Furthermore, and as our expert rheumatologist confirmed on the witness stand, the physiotherapy and massage therapy treatments were, and continued to be beneficial, as they provided the temporary relief our client needed to continue with her University studies and pursue gainful employment.

We also submitted that ICBC should not be entitled to benefit from the fact that our client’s father successfully sought reimbursement through his extended medical plan. It should be assumed, we argued, that her father negotiated with his employer for that benefit plan, and presumably gave up other benefits in return. Therefore, since the benefit plan was available at a cost to our client’s father, ICBC should not be let off the hook for having to repay the full amount.

The Court agreed, awarding full reimbursement of treatment expenses, and awarding a further $10,000 for future massage therapy:

 [111] I find the plaintiff is entitled to recover the special damages amounts claimed including the full costs of the prescription medication. Such sums are recoverable pursuant to the private insurance exception to double recovery: Cunningham v. Wheeler, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 359; Napoleone v. Sharma, 2008 BCSC 1746. The massage and physiotherapy treatments were recommended by the plaintiff’s treating physician. The massage therapy provides short term relief to the plaintiff. I find those amounts are all recoverable.

It should be noted that every case is different, and that past performance is no guarantee of future results. It should also be noted that very few injury claims require a resolution in a courtroom; in the vast majority of cases, we are able to negotiate a fair settlement with ICBC on behalf of our clients. However, in the event ICBC refuses to make a reasonable offer, we are always prepared to take the case to trial.