CRT Blasted For Arbitrary Decision Based on “Non-Existent” Facts

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, setting aside a decision of the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal involving a dispute with ICBC addressing fault for a collision and ordering the matter be remitted for proper determination.  In the process the BC Supreme Court had noted “the tribunal exercised its discretion arbitrarily and on the basis of predominantly irrelevant and/or non-existent facts“.

In today’s case (Devendra v. British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal) the Petitioner was involved in a crash prior to April 1, 2019 (the date the CRT obtained jurisdiction to hear most BC collision cases which was then declared unconstitutional last week).  The CRT was accessed based on their jurisdiction not for vehicle collisions specifically but based on their small claims jurisdiction for claims under $5,000.

ICBC found the applicant fully at fault for the crash.  The Applicant sued ICBC and the other motorist involved arguing “ICBC refused to properly investigate the incident” and asked that his deductible and increased premiums be returned.  At the same time the other motorist sued the Applicant in the BC Supreme Court for alleged negligence causing injuries stemming from the same crash.  ICBC “made clear in their written response to the tribunal that liability was not going to be an issue in the BCSC action“.  Despite this the CRT decided they were not the appropriate forum to adjudicate the applicants dispute and the issue of fault was better to be decided in the BC Supreme Court.  In finding the decision was patently unreasonable and failed to understand their role in a dispute of this nature Madam Justice Murray had the following critical findings:

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CRT Moves Ahead With “Minor Injury” Determination Despite Ongoing Indivisible Injury Litigation in BC Supreme Court

Reasons for judgement were published recently by BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal declining to refuse to determine a minor injury determination dispute despite the party having previous injuries from previous crashes with ongoing litigation in the BC Supreme Court.

In the recent case (Godwin v. Bui) the parties were involved in a May, 2019 collision.  The Respondent was injured in the crash and proceedings were field in the CRT who wished to move ahead to decide both liability for the crash and whether the injuries at question were ‘minor’.

The Respondent noted it would be inappropriate to decide the issue as he was injured in two previous collisions that pre-date the CRT’s jurisdiction which were in active litigation in the BC Supreme Court.  He argued that “the issues are so intertwined with the other actions that it would be impractical for the CRT to make any minor injury determination in this dispute“.  The Applicant did not strongly oppose this with the CRT noting the Applicant “essentially agrees that all the matters should be heard together at the BCSC.“.

Despite this the CRT refused to decline to refuse their determination and noted they would go ahead with their decision.  In reaching this conclusion Vice Chair Andrea Ritchie provided the following reasons:

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Vehicle Lessor Awarded Damages for Accelerated Depreciation By BC Civil Resolution Tribunal

I’ve written many times about the law of ‘accelerated depreciation’ claims in BC.  In short when a vehicle is damaged in a crash it often suffers a loss of market value, even after all reasonable repairs are done.  ICBC routinely chooses to ignore this reality when dealing with crash victims and raises invalid arguments trying to deny such claims.  The damages for such claims can be pursued against the at fault motorist (through their liability insurance policy).

As was demonstrated in reasons published this week by BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal there is no reason why such claims have to be limited to vehicle owner/operators but others with title interest in the vehicle can pursue such a claim.  In what I believe is one of the first times this issue was addressed the Tribunal found that a vehicle lessor can also obtain damages for accelerated depreciation.

In this week’s case (Dual Mechanical Ltd. v. Vicencio) the applicants (a vehicle lessor and lessee) vehicle was involved in a crash caused by the respondent.  The vehicle suffered an accelerated depreciation due to the damages from the crash.  The applicants brought a claim arguing one or the other of them should be entitled to the damages.  The CRT found that the vehicle lessor, given that title remained with them under the terms of the lease, was the appropriate party to be awarded these damages.  In reaching this decision Tribunal Member Lynn Scrivener provided the following reasons:

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Application for ICBC Wage Loss Benefits Dismissed For 7 Days of Disability

The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal published reasons for judgment earlier this month dismissing an application for ICBC wage replacement benefits following 5 days of disability from a vehicle collision.

In the recent case (Cruz v. ICBC) the self represented applicant was injured in a December, 2019 collision.  His injuries caused him to miss 7 days of work.  He applied for ICBC to cover his wage loss under their no-fault benefits but they refused arguing he was not disabled enough days to qualify for benefits.  The CRT agreed and dismissed the applicant’s claim.  In doing so  Tribunal Member Kristen Gardner provided the following reasons:

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CRT Dismisses Applicant Request for ICBC To Pay Lump Sum Part 7 Benefits

Reasons for judgement were published earlier this month dismissing an applicants claim at the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal asking for ICBC to pay physiotherapy treatment expenses as a lump sum.

In the recent case (Smith v. ICBC) the self represented applicant was injured in a October, 2019 collision.  He required physiotherapy which ICBC paid for directly to the service provider.  The Applicant asked the CRT to award him $12,000 as a lump sum for treatment expenses.  The claim was dismissed with the CRT noting that while ICBC can pay a lump sum for treatment expenses doing so is entirely discretionary and continued payment of necessary treatments as they are incurred is acceptable.  In dismissing the claim Tribunal Member Kristen Gardner provided the following reasons:

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ICBC Ordered To Pay Damages for Accelerated Vehicle Depreciation Following Significant Crash

As discussed numerous times on this site BC law recognizes that if property is damaged by the wrong doing of another and if that property is then worth less even after all reasonable repairs have been made the ‘accelerated depreciation’ can be recovered against the at fault party.

ICBC often refuses to recognize accelerated depreciation claims following collisions and forces crash victims to litigate these claims.   Reasons for judgement were published today by BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal with such a fact pattern.

In today’s case (Peterson v. Texmo) the Applicant’s vehicle sustained over $10,000 in damages in a crash the Respondent was at fault for.  The Applicant asked ICBC to compensate him for his vehicle’s accelerated depreciation which reached several thousand dollars but the insurer refused to recognize this loss raising several arguments which missed the mark such as suggesting that if the vehicle was not sold there is no loss and that the vehicle was imported from the US which if resold there may not have a similar market loss.  In rejecting these arguments and finding that the applicant was entitled to damages for accelerated depreciation Tribunal Member David Jiang provided the following reasons:

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CRT Dismisses “Placeholder” ICBC Benefits Lawsuits

Earlier this year BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) noted that their forum cannot be used to preserve limitation periods for ICBC no fault benefit lawsuits where no such past benefits are outstanding.  Last week the CRT confirmed this position by dismissing such a ‘placeholder’ lawsuit.

In last week’s case (Yousefi v. ICBC) the Applicant filed a CRT action to preserve the right to seek ICBC no fault benefits should any such benefits be denied.  The CRT noted that such claims cannot be indefinitely paused and if they are not withdrawn must proceed to judgement were they will be dismissed if no past benefits are outstanding.

The CRT reached similar conclusions in two sister decision released at the same time (Shin v. ICBC and Bali v. ICBC)

In reaching such a disposition in this case  Vice Chair Andrea Ritchie provided the following reasons:

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CRT Sidesteps First Opportunity To Add Clarity to BC’s “Minor” Injury Law

As of today BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) which as been granted near exclusive jurisdiction to determine if injuries are “minor” as defined by the Insurance (Vehicle) Act has yet to rule on any case providing any assistance in interpreting this new (and constitutionally challenged) legal scheme.

Earlier this year the CRT was asked to set aside a “minor” injury settlement after the applicant discovered a disc bulge.  The CRT refused to do so.  Today reasons for judgement were published (Bajracharya v. Rahul) by the CRT inovlving a collision claim disputing the ‘minor’ injury designation.  Despite this opportunity the CRT refused to dive into the topic finding that the Applicant was liable for the collision thus dismissing the claim and finding that the minor injury question did not need to be answered.  In reaching this conclusion Vice Chair Andrea Ritchie provided the following reasons:

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Motorist Ordered to Pay $1,805 for “Accelerated Depreciation” Following Collision With Porsche

As discussed numerous times on this site BC law recognizes that if property is damaged by the wrong doing of another and if that property is then worth less even after all reasonable repairs have been made the ‘accelerated depreciation’ can be recovered against the at fault party.

In the first Accelerated Depreciation claim heard by BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal such damages were awarded to the owner of a Porsche that was damaged in a collision.

In today’s case (Lai v. Leung) the Applicant’s vehicle was struck by the Respondent who admitted fault of the crash.  The impact caused damages which cost over $6,500 to repair.   The Applicant consulted with an appraiser who provided evidence that as a result the vehicle will be worth less on the open market.  ICBC refused to recognize this.  Both ICBC and the at fault motorist were sued but the tribunal noted that ICBC was not a correct party in such a dispute and the claim is properly brought against the at fault motorist with ICBC simply playing the role of their insurer.

In siding with the Applicant and accepting the expert opinion of the Fournier Auto Group Tribunal Member Trisha Apland provided the following reasons in ordering that $1,805 in damages for Accelerated Depreciation be paid:

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“Minor Injury” Settlement Not Set Aside Following Subsequent Discovery of Disc Bulge

In what I believe is the first case of BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal addressing ‘minor’ injuries under the ever changing ICBC legal landscape reasons for decision were published earlier this month refusing to set aside a ‘minor injury’ settlement after the discovery of a disc bulge.

In the recent case (Naqvi v. ICBC) the applicant was involved in a collision in May, 2019.  His doctor diagnosed him as suffering injuries to the right shoulder, right upper back, and left lower back radiating to the left hip with an optimistic prognosis to make full recovery.  Believing these were caught by the minor injury regulation the application settled his claim for $6,890 which included non-pecuniary damages at the capped amount for such injuries.

Subsequent to settlement the applicant discovered he had a disc bulge in his spine and argued this new diagnosed injury falls outside of the ‘minor injury’ definition and accordingly sought to set the settlement asise.  The CRT refused to allow this arguing a binding settlement was reached that was “not grossly unfair or unconscionable“.  In refusing to allow the settlement to be set aside tribunal Vice Chair Andrea Richie provided the following reasons:

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If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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