Drinking + Driving + Lying = -$67,000
Reasons for judgement were released today showing the potential consequences of driving after drinking and lying to ICBC about one’s level of intoxication.
In 2004 the Plaintiff was involved in a serious single vehicle accident. His vehicle was totaled and the amount of his own vehicle damage was $67,000.
He told ICBC that “I had no alcohol to drink on the day of the accident. I may have had one or two drinks in the twenty four hours prior to the accident”. It turns out this was false.
ICBC refused to pay the Plaintiff’s own damage claim. The Plaintiff sued ICBC for the value of the vehicle damage.
The evidence of a blood alcohol analyst was tendered by ICBC which showed that his evidence of ‘one or two drinks‘ was “inconsistent with the results of the blood sample analysis“.
In the end ICBC refused to pay out the Plaintiff’s claim because of his false statement to ICBC. Section 19(1)(e) of the then Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act states that if an insured makes a willfully false statement with respect to an ICBC claim under their plan of insurance the claim can be rendered invalid.
Mr. Justice Masuhara concluded that ICBC was right in refusing to honour the Plaintiff’s claim and dismissed the lawsuit finding that “It is apparent to me that (the Plaintiff) was seriously intoxicated the night before the accident…He had a responsibility out of good faith to his insurer to disclose at least that he could not recall because of his drinking, instead of stating that he ‘may have had’ one or two beers…which can be taken as a statement of minimal consumption….I conclude, regrettably, that the evidence is clear and cogent that (the Plaintiff) did not have a belief in the truth of the statement he provided regarding his alcohol consumption‘.