BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Erik MagrakenThis Blog is authored by British Columbia ICBC injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken. Erik is a partner with the British Columbia personal injury law-firm MacIsaac & Company. He restricts his practice exclusively to plaintiff-only personal injury claims with a particular emphasis on ICBC injury claims involving orthopaedic injuries and complex soft tissue injuries. Please visit often for the latest developments in matters concerning BC personal injury claims and ICBC claims

Erik Magraken does not work for and is not affiliated in any way with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Please note that this blog is for information only and is not claim-specific legal advice.  Erik can only provide legal advice to clients. Please click here to arrange a free consultation.

“Short Fuse” Formal Settlement Offer Triggers Double Costs

October 22nd, 2014

Reasons for judgment were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing whether a formal settlement offer open for only 3 days could trigger costs consequences.

In today’s case (Henry v. Bennett) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 collision and sued for damages.  The claim was ultimately dismissed with the Plaintiff being at fault for the crash.  Prior to the trial the Defendant provided a formal offer of $30,000 which was only open for acceptance for three days.

The Plaintiff argued that the offer should not attract double costs in part due to its short window.  Madam Justice Ballance disagreed finding given the significant liability risks at trial it was a reasonable offer.  In addressing its short lifespan not being a barrier the Court provided the following reasons:

[41]         I would ordinarily regard a three-day fuse attached to an offer that was delivered close to the eve of trial, where it would be expected that the party would be engrossed in the demands of trial preparation, as posing an unreasonable time constraint within which to give it meaningful evaluation.  The difficulty facing Mr. Henry, however, is that due mainly to his own damaging discovery evidence, he ought reasonably to have anticipated that he faced significant exposure of not only faring poorly on the issue of liability, but losing his case altogether.  Knowing, as he did, his harmful evidence, Mr. Henry should have appreciated the deep weakness of his claim and the risk of significant apportionment against him or the outright dismissal of his suit and his exposure for an adverse costs award.  All things considered, the 2011 Offer was one that ought reasonably to have been accepted by Mr. Henry.

[42]         With respect to other the pertinent factors, in dismissing Mr. Henry’s case, the Court placed heavy emphasis on his discovery evidence concerning liability for the accident.  Relatively little is known about Mr. Henry’s specific financial circumstances.  Based on the evidence at trial, it is reasonable to infer that his financial situation is modest.  However, that, of itself or in combination with any other factor, is not reason enough in this case to refuse the defendant an award of double costs.

[43]         The defendant is entitled to costs of this proceeding at Scale B up to and including March 8, 2011, and double costs thereafter.


Court Criticizes Doctor As Being “An Advocate For ICBC”

October 17th, 2014

Adding to this site’s archives of judicial criticism of ‘advocate’ expert witnesses, reasons for judgement were released today  by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry rejecting the evidence of a defence expert on the basis of advocacy.

In today’s case (Davidge v. Fairholm) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 rear end collision.  Fault was admitted.  The Plaintiff suffered a chronic back injury which interfered with both his vocational and recreational abilities.  ICBC had the Plaintiff assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon who largely discounted the crash as playing a role in the Plaintiff’s chronic symptoms.  In criticizing this evidence as ‘advocacy’ Madam Justice Griffin provided the following reasons:

[124]     ICBC called expert evidence from Dr. Olie Sovio, an orthopaedic surgeon, who at ICBC’s request conducted an independent medical examination of the plaintiff on June 27, 2013 and produced a report dated July 2, 2013, admitted at trial.  Dr. Sovio’s opinion seemed to accept that the plaintiff had low back pain and neck stiffness when he saw him.  He characterized the symptoms as subjective but did not offer a reason to believe they were not real.  He recommended that the plaintiff undertake a regular activity, or exercise, program.

[125]     Dr. Sovio’s opinion did not address what caused the plaintiff’s low back pain.

[126]     However, in cross-examination Dr. Sovio made an effort to state his opinion that because there was no abnormality in the plaintiff’s low back for seven months, it did not make sense to attribute that pain to the car accident.  This opinion was offered even though it was not responsive to the question being asked, and was not in his report.  I got the sense from his eagerness to state this that he was being an advocate for ICBC rather than a neutral expert.

[127]     Dr. Sovio’s off-hand opinion in relation to causation was not well explained.  From the context of his evidence, it appeared to be based on his view that the patient had new onset of low back pain that was not there before, seven months after the accident (i.e. it was new when first noted in Dr. Rebeyka’s April 9, 2010 clinical record).  This was despite the plaintiff telling Dr. Sovio that he had low back pain almost immediately after the accident. In other words, Dr. Sovio chose to not believe the plaintiff because Dr. Sovio did not see low back pain documented in the clinical records until later. 

[128]     Just as with the other experts, it is up to this Court to determine whether or not the plaintiff can be believed when he says he had low back problems after the accident that grew in intensity over time. 

[129]     Dr. Sovio did not provide any explanation as to what was the cause of the plaintiff’s low back pain.  According to his evidence, the degenerative changes in the plaintiff’s back should not have prevented him from returning to work in the oil fields.  If that is so, his opinion does not support any conclusion that the degenerative changes limited the plaintiff’s ability to do heavy work and led to the low back pain after the return to work.    

[130]     In the last paragraph of p. 6 of Dr. Sovio’s report, he acknowledged that he was unclear on why the plaintiff took time off work from the oil fields and ultimately attended retraining even though after the WHP he was considered fit to return to work.  Dr. Sovio concluded that the patient chose to retrain rather than return to his drilling occupation, “but this does not seem to be on a physical basis, at least, judging from the medical records”.  In stating this, Dr. Sovio either ignored the plaintiff’s history or did not ask him questions about his experiences after returning to work.

[131]     Dr. Sovio’s report leads me to conclude that he did not understand the plaintiff’s medical history leading up to his attendance at BCIT, including the fact that the plaintiff found work in the oilfields to be too painful and thus too physically difficult after the accident.  It seems somewhat careless for Dr. Sovio to opine that retraining was simply a personal choice and not due to the patient experiencing physical limitations at his work.  

[132]     Dr. Sovio performs many assessments for the Workers’ Compensation Board, and he made it clear in his evidence that he thinks many workers injured at work simply would prefer not to return to work even though they do not have a good reason for not returning.  He offered this as his explanation for discounting the opinion of the plaintiff’s general physician. Unfortunately I felt that Dr. Sovio was unduly cynical and had a bias in this regard and so viewed the plaintiff’s own reports of back pain as not worthy of any weight, which is not an objective approach.

[133]     Dr. Sovio’s approach as to the plaintiff’s ability to work also seemed very superficial.  He did not apparently know the exact nature of the physical tasks the plaintiff must perform in his work and other physical stresses of his job.  When questioned what the job involved, he rather arrogantly said, “I think I know what it’s all about”, when clearly he had little idea and had not asked the plaintiff sufficient questions to gain an understanding. 

[134]     In short, I did not find Dr. Sovio’s evidence to be helpful on the issues of causation or the plaintiff’s ability to work.  


Passenger 35% To Blame For Riding With Impaired Driver

October 14th, 2014

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing contributory negligence for a passenger who rides with an impaired motorist involved in a collision.

In today’s case (Telford v. Hogan) the Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle operated by the Defendant.  Both were drinking throughout the day.  As the vehicle was travelling at excessive speed on a highway the driver lost control resulting in a serious single vehicle collision.  The Plaintiff apparently interfered somehow with the steering wheel moments before the loss of control and the Court found the driver 75% at fault with the passenger shouldering 25% of the blame for this interference.  In addition to this the Court apportioned the Plaintiff’s contributory negligence at 35% for riding with an impaired motorist.  In reaching this conclusion Madam Justice Fitzpatrick provided the following reasons:

[103]     Despite the efforts of Ms. Telford’s counsel to distinguish the above cases, all of them bear some resemblance to this case in that the passenger and the driver embarked on a drinking exercise or “hazardous enterprise” where both knew or should have known that the intoxication of the driver was inevitable. I would repeat that Ms. Telford was well aware that Ms. Hogan was drinking over the course of the day and she had particular knowledge of the quantity of what Ms. Hogan consumed as the majority of it came from her own drink container. Although she may not have been aware of exactly what Ms. Hogan consumed from Ms. Ettinger’s cup, she would also have been aware that Ms. Ettinger’s beverage was alcoholic and that Ms. Hogan was sharing that too.

[104]     It does not follow that since Ms. Hogan was not exhibiting overt signs of impairment, one need not consider Ms. Telford’s lack of judgment in both offering her drink to Ms. Hogan and then getting in the vehicle being driven by Ms. Hogan for the trip home. To the extent that later in the day, Ms. Telford drank alcohol to the point of being severely intoxicated herself confirms that she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure her ongoing ability to assess her safety over the course of the trip home.

[105]     The cases cited by ICBC support the suggested range of apportionment of 30-35% for such a passenger who voluntarily rides with a drunk driver. The higher end of this range is amply supported, particularly by the fact that Ms. Telford herself provided most of the alcohol consumed by Ms. Hogan that day.

[106]     I assess Ms. Telford’s contributory negligence to be 35%.


The Revival Of ICBC TTD Benefits

October 9th, 2014

Important reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, addressing the entitlement of a claimant to ‘revive‘ ICBC disability benefits after an attempted return to work.

In today’s case (Symons v. ICBC) the Plaintiff was involved in a serious collision in 2008.  She was rendered initially disabled and ICBC paid her TTD benefits until her ‘creditably stoic and determined‘ return tow work later that year.  The Plaintiff’s return was short lived as progressive symptoms eventually led to a series of surgeries and her symptoms continued to disable her at the time of trial.

The Plaintiff applied for disability benefits under s. 86 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation but ICBC denied these arguing that unless TTD’s were being actively paid at the 104 week mark (a period when this plaintiff was back at work) that the legislation does not allow the ongoing payment of disability benefits.  Mr. Justice Baird rejected this argument and set out the following reasons clarifying when an insured is entitled to revive TTD benefits with ICBC:

[35]         Following Brewer, Halbauer, and Cai, insured persons currently have a right to revive their TTDs (assuming all the other regulatory requirements are met) in three situations:

1.     Entitlement and revival under s. 80: the insured person receives benefits under s. 80, returns to work, and again becomes totally disabled from employment within the 104-week period.

2.     Entitlement and revival under s. 86: the insured person receives 104 weeks of benefits under s. 80, transitions to benefits under s. 86, then returns to work for a period before again returning to total disability.

3.     Entitlement under s. 80 and revival under s. 86 (intervening alternate insurance benefits): the insured person receives TTDs under s. 80, then receives private insurance benefits for more than 104 weeks, before reviving Part 7 benefits under s. 86.

[41]         Part 7 is also designed to promote the injured person’s rehabilitation, defined in s. 78 as “the restoration, in the shortest practical time, of an injured person to the highest level of gainful employment or self-sufficiency that … is … reasonably achievable”. To this end, Part 7 also includes rehabilitation benefits under s. 88, including the provision of funds for various one-time expenses that are likely to promote the person’s recovery (for vocational training, for example, or alterations to the insured’s residence to improve accessibility), and funds for medical treatments and rehabilitative therapies.

[42]         In other words, Part 7 (at least so far as it is concerned with benefits following injury, rather than death benefits) has two related objects: to compensate an insured person for a portion of the financial loss accrued from temporary total disability caused by a motor vehicle accident; and, where possible, to do so in a manner that brings about the end of the total disability by returning the injured person to employment or self-sufficiency. (For some discussion of these purposes, see Halbauer at para. 41.)…

[49]         I therefore conclude that an insured person is eligible to apply for the revival of TTDs under s. 86 so long as a) they have previously established eligibility and received TTDs under s. 80; b) they can demonstrate that they are totally disabled as defined in s. 80; and c) they can show that the total disability is due to injury sustained in the original accident.


$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for “Moderate To Severe” Soft Tissue Injuries

October 8th, 2014

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for soft tissue injuries from a motor vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Farbatuk v. Lagrimas) the Plaintiff was rear-ended in a 2011 collision.  The Defendant admitted fault.  The Plaintiff sustained moderate to severe soft tissue injuries to his neck and back.  The Plaintiff’s physician gave evidence that the prognosis for recovery was extremely guarded although the Court rejected this finding that any lingering symptoms did not “debilitate or impair” the Plaintiff in any meaningful way.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Madam Justice Kloegman provided the following reasons:

[22]         It appears from the medical evidence that all three expert witnesses agreed that the plaintiff suffered a moderate to severe whiplash to his neck and back in the accident. It also appears that the medical experts agree there is evidence of a pre-existing degenerative condition in the plaintiff’s back and neck, whether D.I.S.H. or something else.

[23]         Dr. Miki described the plaintiff’s prognosis as “extremely guarded”, particularly in relation to the work the plaintiff has done for the previous 25 years. Dr. Richardson’s prognosis for the plaintiff’s neck and back was moderate, with no increasing risk of developing osteoarthritis. Dr. Werry stated in his report that the plaintiff will probably continue indefinitely to experience variable neck and low back pain and stiffness, but that he probably has not reached maximum medical improvement.

[24]         As stated earlier, Dr. Miki’s evidence was given in an advocational manner and he relied heavily on the plaintiff’s self-reporting. His prognosis of “extremely guarded” was not consistent with some of his clinical notes that had been omitted from his report. These showed steady and continuous improvement in the plaintiff’s position. His prognosis was also not consistent with the evidence of Louise Craig, functional capacity evaluator, who opined that the plaintiff’s main limitation is in his range of motion in his neck. She reported that the plaintiff felt an increase in symptoms from sustained sitting and stooping, but that he showed a tolerance for exertion of low to upper range of heavy physical strength, very good core strength and aerobic fitness, no limitation in standing, walking, crawling, kneeling, crouching, managing stairs, balancing, reaching, gripping and most importantly; he was able to carry a medium load of 50 lbs on a frequent basis which placed his ability to work in the Heavy category of occupations.

[25]         In my view, the plaintiff’s prognosis is more optimistic than either Dr. Miki or he would admit. Although 2½ years have passed since the accident and the plaintiff still complains about neck pain, back pain and limited range of motion, I am not satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that these subjective complaints are sufficiently supported by any objective evidence of continuing injury. Simply put, he has not established that his ongoing complaints are serious enough to debilitate or impair him in any way…’

[46]         I find that the plaintiff’s situation is closer to those of the plaintiffs in the above cases cited by defence. In my view, an award of $60,000 is fair compensation for the plaintiff’s non-pecuniary losses.


Court of Appeal Discusses BC Apology Act

October 7th, 2014

In the first case that I’m aware from the BC Court of Appeal discussing BC’s Apology Act, reasons for judgement were released today addressing this statute in the face of post collision conduct.

In today’s case (Vance v. Cartwright) the Plaintiff was found fully at fault following motorcycle/vehicle collision.  The Plaintiff appealed arguing the trial judge erred in allowing an apology into evidence.  The BC Court of Appeal upheld the trial judgement finding the trial judge did not place any weight on the Plaintiff’s post crash apology in the reasons underlying the claims dismissal.  In commenting on BC’s Apology Act the Court of Appeal provided the following reasons:

[5]           Section 1 of the Act defines “apology” as follows:

“apology” means an expression of sympathy or regret, a statement that one is sorry or any other words or actions indicating contrition or commiseration, whether or not the words or actions admit or imply an admission of fault in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.

[6]           Section 2 provides:

2(1)      An apology made by or on behalf of a person in connection with any matter

(a)        does not constitute an express or implied admission of fault or liability by the person in connection with that matter,

(d)        must not be taken into account in any determination of fault or liability in connection with that matter.

(2)        Despite any other enactment, evidence of an apology made by or on behalf of a person in connection with any matter is not admissible in any court as evidence of the fault or liability of the person in connection with that matter.

[7]           It is contended that Mr. Vance’s statement that he was sorry and that the accident was all his fault, as well as his later payment of $1,000, constituted an apology or apologies as defined by the Act which the judge took into account in determining fault.

[8]           Accepting for present purposes that what Mr. Vance said and did amounts to an apology as defined, I do not consider the judge can be said to have taken it into account in the sense of treating it as an admission or acknowledgement of fault. His clear purpose for referring to what was said was only to explain why no photograph of the position of Ms. Cartwright’s vehicle had been taken to establish where it had been stopped when Mr. Vance crashed into its left rear fender.

[9]           Nowhere in his reasons does the judge even suggest he was relying on what Mr. Vance said or did after the accident as the basis of finding him at fault. His reasoning is all based on the evidence and his findings of what occurred before the collision – speed, distance, line of sight, and the conduct of Mr. Vance and Ms. Cartwright.

[10]        Significance is attached to the judge having said Mr. Vance was fearful and not thinking clearly following the accident and that his behavior was nonetheless remarkable, not consistent with someone whose life had been put in jeopardy by the actions of another. But that appears to me to be little more than a comment on his confused state of mind following the accident. If anything, the judge appears to have been discounting the significance of what Mr. Vance said and did. In any event, it is not indicative of the judge having wrongfully relied on, or taken into account, anything that occurred after the accident to find Mr. Vance at fault: quite the contrary.

[11]        I conclude the judge has not been shown to have found Mr. Vance to be solely at fault for the accident in any way that would offend the provisions of the Act.


Uber RideSharing Can Lead To Uber Insurance Problems

October 7th, 2014

UBER Logo

Uber, a ride for hire app, is currently facing a legal showdown in Vancouver.  For those unfamiliar with Uber, the company’s app connects passengers with drivers who, for a fee, take them to their destination.  Uber takes a slice of the action.  The Uber business model is proving profitable for the company but disruptive for the taxi industry.  A debate revolves around the need for regulation vs reducing consumer prices caused by the artificial monopoly provided to taxi companies.

Without weighing in on the politics of this debate one real world problem exists with Uber given BC’s current legal landscape.  The threat of breach of insurance for drivers in the program.

If an Uber driver is involved in an at fault crash while carrying a paying passenger they may be in breach of their insurance coverage with ICBC.

Section 75 of BC’s Insurance (Vehicle) Act invalidates ICBC coverage where “the insured violates a term or condition” in relation to their plan of insurance.

Section 55 of the Regulations set out the applicable terms and conditions and among these are the following:

(a) the use declared in the application for insurance for the vehicle,

(b) a statement relating to the time during which, and the territories in which, the vehicle may be operated, and

(c) a statement relating to the kind of goods or number of passengers that may be carried in or on the vehicle.

So, let’s say a driver with ICBC insurance coverage for pleasure use of their vehicle decides to make a few extra bucks by participating in the Uber program.  If he or she is involved in an at fault collision while ‘on the clock’ ICBC could likely use the above legal framework to declare them in breach of their coverage.  This means that ICBC would come after the driver for repayment of all insurance claims made following a crash.

Uber’s disruptive technology is welcomed by many and opposed by others.  Whatever the ultimate political outcome, it is clear that if a driver does not have properly declared insurance coverage they can face steep financial fallout if ever involved in a collision.   Any potential gaps in coverage is a problem which must be solved for a company like Uber to successfully operate in BC.


Jury Verdict Deemed Perverse For Failing To Award Non-Pecuniary Damages

October 2nd, 2014

Reasons for judgment were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordering a retrial following a ‘perverse’ jury finding.

In today’s case (Kalsi v. Gill) the Plaintiff was injured in a vehicle collision.  A jury found both parties equally to blame and after factoring the liability split awarded the Plaintiff $10,000 for past wage loss and special damages.  The Jury awarded nothing for non-pecuniary loss.  Mr. Justice Weatherill ordered a new trial and in doing so provided the following reasons:

[23]         While the court should strive to give effect to a jury’s verdict, it cannot do so where the jury’s verdict is internally in conflict.

[24]         In this case, it is apparent that the jury did not accept the plaintiff’s evidence as to her losses. Put bluntly, the jury did not believe her. It is obvious, however, that the jury found that the plaintiff was injured, at least to some degree, by the award for special damages of $8,000 and past loss of earnings of $12,000.

[25]         While the jury is the judge of issues such as credibility, it was not open to them, after making the findings as they did regarding special damages and past loss of wages, to fail to make any award for non-pecuniary damages (Balla). Such a result was inconsistent.

[26]         The basis of any tort action rests on a finding that the plaintiff suffered an injury. It is illogical to conclude that a plaintiff was injured and suffered past wage loss and special damages but did not sustain and pain, suffering, or loss of enjoyment, no matter how transient. (Balla, Stewart).

[27]         The issue, then, is whether this result necessitates a new trial (Rule 12-6(7)) or whether I can pronounce judgement on some of the claims and order a retrial on the balance (Rule 12-6(8)).

[28]         There is a clear difference in wording of the two rules that sheds some light on the issue. Rule 12-6(7) demands a retrial when either:

a)    a jury answers some but not all of the questions directed to it, or

b)    the jury’s answers are conflicting so that judgement cannot be pronounced on the findings.

[29]         Conversely, Rule 12-6(8) allows partial judgment when a jury’s answer entitles a party to judgement in respect of some but not all of the claims of relief. It does not contemplate partial judgment when the jury’s answer is conflicting.

[30]         Respecting the jury’s finding of liability between the parties for the collision, that question has been answered. There is nothing in the rest of the jury’s verdict that is inconsistent with it.

[31]         Respecting the jury’s finding on damages, an inconsistency exists. An award for special damages and past wage loss and no award for non-pecuniary damages have repeatedly been characterized in all the relevant case law as a “conflict” and an “inconsistent result”.

[32]         This conclusion is reinforced by Balla, Banks and Binnie v. Marsollier, 2001 BCCA 543. Re-trials were ordered in all three pursuant to Rule 41(2) (now Rule 12-6(7)). There was no mention of the potential application of Rule 41(3) (now Rule 12-6(8)).


Nightclub and Bouncers Ordered To Pay $3,084,200 Following Assault on Patron

October 1st, 2014

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, highlighting a $3 million jury verdict following a nightclub assault.

In today’s case (Maras v. Seemore Entertainment Ltd.) the Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a nightclub in Vancouver, BC and sustained a traumatic brain injury.  Both the owner of the club and 3 bouncers were found liable and ordered to pay the damages.  Prior to trial the Plaintiff offered to settle for $1.425 million an offer which was countered with $20,000 by the Defendants.   The Court ordered that the Defendant pay increased costs for failing to accept the Plaintiff’s reasonable pre-trial offer.  In highlighting the jury’s decision the Court provided the following reasons:

[1]             This action arose from an assault upon the plaintiff that occurred on April 4, 2009 outside the Au Bar nightclub, located on Seymour Street in Vancouver.

[2]             The plaintiff sustained serious injuries including a complicated mild traumatic brain injury combined with orthopedic and psychiatric injuries.

[3]             The plaintiff was 20 years old at the time of the assault and 25 years old when the action proceeded to trial before a jury for nine weeks commencing April 7, 2014.

[4]             Both liability and the quantum of damages were in issue at trial and vigorously contested by the parties.

[5]             On June 9, 2014, the jury delivered its verdict. Liability was found against the corporate defendant owner of the nightclub and three of the security personnel or “bouncers”. The action against one of the security staff defendants, Mr. Yip, and the nightclub’s manager, Mr. Childs, was dismissed. The plaintiff was found not to be contributorily negligent.

[6]             The jury assessed damages as follows:

General damages $   250,000
Loss of income and loss of earning capacity to trial $   175,000
Future loss of earning capacity $1,832,000
Cost of future care $   800,000
Special damages $     27,200
Total $3,084,200

 


Absent Agreement Discoveries To Take Place At Lawyers Office

October 1st, 2014

Reasons for judgement were released today (Schroeder v. Sweeney) by the BC Supreme Court, Kelowna Registry, addressing a practice point.  Where are examinations for discovery to take place if the parties can’t agree?  Master McDiarmid ruled that the default is the lawyer’s office of the party being examined.  The court provided the following reasons:

[4]             Subrule 7-2(11) needs a bit of analysis. It provides, firstly, that you are to find a Registry closest to where the party to be discovered resides in British Columbia and then you are to find a location within 30 kilometres of that registry. It does not say that the discovery is to take place at the registry, although in the past that is where discoveries did take place. All of the larger registries had rooms where examinations for discovery occurred. It is true that often the most convenient location is the place where the court reporters carry on their business.

[5]             However, I have always understood the default position (for parties resident in B.C.) to be that if the parties could not agree, the party would be discovered at that party’s counsel’s office.

[6]             There are reasons why that is convenient to the party. One reason is that the full documents in the possession of that party will be available. A second is that the party being examined is in a surrounding where that party’s counsel practises and so the party is presumably somewhat more comfortable there.

[7]             In responding to this particular application, I reviewed some comments — and not unreasonable comments by the plaintiff, where he deposes basically, that yes, he  could go to the court reporter’s office, but he does depose to some issues with parking. That does, to some extent, impact on his convenience. It seems to me though that the — what I am going to call the default provision which was certainly the provision I understood as counsel was that if parties could not agree, the discovery should take place at the office of the counsel representing the party to be discovered. The matter is somewhat of an important practice point.

[8]             I am dismissing the application and ordering that the discovery take place at the office of the plaintiff’s counsel. The part of the application that the plaintiff attend Okanagan Court Reporters is dismissed and instead of that, the order is that the plaintiff attend at examination for discovery at the offices of his counsel.


 

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