Court Allows Video Surveillance Evidence Despite Defence Failing to List Document
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, allowing the introduction of video surveillance evidence despite counsel failing to disclose this evidence on their list of documents.
In today’s case (Karpowicz v. Glessing) the Plaintiff was involved in a collision and sued for damages. The Defendant “retained a private investigator and, on June 27, 2016, filmed a short video of the plaintiff at the Vancouver International Airport accompanied by his wife and children.” Plaintiff’s counsel was provided the video ahead of a mediation but the document was never listed on the Defendant’s formal list of documents. The Plaintiff objected to the video’s introduction at trial but the Court ruled the evidence was admissible as there was a lack of prejudice from the failed disclosure. In reaching this conclusion Madam Justice MacNaughton provided the following reasons:
 I have concluded that the video evidence should be admitted. While I agree that the defendant had a clear obligation under Rule 7‑1(9) to list the video as a document as soon as it came into his possession, I accept defence counsel’s representation that the failure to list the video was not for a tactical advantage at trial. Counsel frankly acknowledged that it was an oversight on her part, and as soon as the plaintiff raised the issue, the video was listed in the supplementary list of documents. The late listing of the video has not caused the plaintiff prejudice.
 If it had been listed in the summer of 2016, presumably it would have been done so as a privileged document. The plaintiff would have known of its existence, but not its content, as the video was not required to be disclosed until the defendant determined to rely on it at trial. On that determination, the video was disclosed to the plaintiff. The disclosure was in advance of the deadline for disclosure in Rule 12‑5(10).
 The plaintiff has had time to consider the video and to prepare to address it in his evidence at trial. The defendant had the right to investigate the plaintiff’s claims and the video is relevant to the issues the plaintiff has put before the court.
 As to the issue of privacy, the video was taken at Vancouver International Airport at the passenger pickup area. The plaintiff and his family had no reasonable expectation of privacy while at the airport. The video focuses on the plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s spouse and the children are incidental to that focus or in the background of the video. Counsel for the defendant has obscured the faces of the children so that they are not identifiable.
 In all these circumstances, I conclude that the video ought to be admitted.