More on ICBC Claims and Requests for Particulars
Reasons for judgement were released today addressing a request for particulars in a BC car crash case where the issue of fault was admitted.
The Defendants asked the Plaintiff to provide particulars for any claim for special damages and loss of earnings to date. The Plaintiff refused and Defendant’s obtained a court order requiring the same. The Plaintiff appealed and reasons from that appeal were released today.
Mr. Justice Walker dismissed the appeal and in so doing made a few findings addressing requests for particulars that should be of interest to ICBC injury claims lawyers:
First that ‘particulars can only be sought for the following purposes‘
(a) to inform the other side of the nature of the case they have to meet as distinguished from the mode in which that case is to be proved;
(b) to prevent the other side from being taken by surprise at the trial;
(c) to enable the other side to know what evidence they ought to be prepared with and to prepare for trial;
(d) to limit the generality of the pleadings;
(e) to limit and decide the issues to be tried, and as to which discovery is required; and,
(f) to tie the hands of the party so that he cannot without leave go into any matters not included.
After canvassing several cases dealing with requests for particulars the court held that:
 In my view, providing particulars of the plaintiff’s wage loss and special damages’ claims in a case where liability has been admitted, particularly a routine bodily injury case, serves the purpose of the Rules of Court.
 This is a matter where the information sought has to be provided to the defendants at some point in time. The documents relating to the claim for special damages should have been listed in the plaintiff’s list of documents. They were not, and that is troubling.
 Delivery of the particulars sought may well shorten the time spent at examination for discovery, but most certainly failing to deliver them will prolong the discovery process.
 There is nothing in the Rules of Court stating that the particulars provided are meant to contain the final wage loss and special damages’ amounts. The McLachlin and Taylor text states that particulars of special damages are to be provided as they become known; the textual commentary suggests to me that particulars of special damages should be delivered from time to time as they become known. That makes good sense in a bodily injury case as special damages may only be known on an ongoing basis as the amounts are incurred. Simply because some members of the Bar have fallen into the habit of providing particulars of special damages once, late in the day, is no answer to what the McLachlin and Taylor text says is good practice………
 I emphasize again that the information sought by the defendants has to be provided to the defendants sooner or later. Here, the defendants seek that information at an early stage in the litigation. The defendants admitted liability at the outset. They wish to know the value of the claim. The medical receipts should have been produced in the list of documents and were not. Delivery of particulars may assist the defendants in their assessment and approach towards resolution of the claim.