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Is ICBC No Fault So Broad That You Can’t Sue When a Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

Imagine you are driving on a BC highway.  Out of nowhere a plane comes out of the sky and smashes into your vehicle causing injury.

This is not academic.  This unfortunately just occured in Langley, BC, as reported by CityNews.

Now an interesting question was posed to me by BC lawyer Kyla Lee.  Can motorists sue in these circumstances or are their rights stripped by ICBC no fault?

The short answer is this has never been judicially decided so no one can say for sure.

That said the BC No fault laws are written so broadly they may even stop you from suing a pilot for injuries when a plane smashes into your vehicle.

Here’s the breakdown.

Section 115 of BC’s Insurance Vehicle Act states that for almost all BC crashes on a highway after May 1, 2021

a person has no right of action and must not commence or maintain proceedings respecting bodily injury caused by a vehicle arising out of an accident.

An “accident” means an accident in which there is bodily injury caused by a vehicle.

A “vehicle” means a motor vehicle or trailer. “Motor Vehicle” has the same meaning as under s. 1 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which “means a vehicle, not run on rails, that is designed to be self-propelled or propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but does not include mobile equipment, a motor assisted cycle or a regulated motorized personal mobility device”. This definition appears to include a plane.

“bodily injury caused by a vehicle” means bodily injury caused by a vehicle or the use or operation of a vehicle;

Section 116 then carves out a list of exceptions none of which apply to suing a pilot for how they operated a plane unless there is a specific criminal code conviction.  There are some exceptions about suing people other than the operator in certain circumstances like negligent manufacturing or repair.  But the right to sue an operator of a plane if they are negligent and hit a vehicle on a BC highway may be caught by ICBC’s heavy handed no fault laws.

Section 114 goes on to carve out other scenarios where no-fault benefits are not in play (and presumably individuals retain the right to sue).  A standard vehicle on a BC highway being struck by a plane falling out of the sky does not appear to be in the list.

Ultimately this question needs judicial clarification for certainty but if correct this and countless other fact patterns are piling on to the ever growing list of reasons of why no fault is a catastrophe for BC crash victims.

Exploring Pre-Existing Injury on Discovery – Forever Not Always OK

There is no shortage of caselaw addressing the obligations to produce historic clinical records when a plaintiff’s pre-existing health is at issue.  When it comes to the scope of fair questions at discovery the case law is far more sparse.  To this end helpful reasons for judgment were recently published by the BC Supreme Court discussing this issue.

In the recent case (Andrist v. Bryant) the Plaintiff was involved in a vehicle collision and sued for damages.  The Defendant plead that the plaintiff had pre-existing injuries and there was some further evidence this was the case.  Plaintiff’s counsel was ok with questions about the plaintiff’s health in the two years preceding the crash.  The defendant wished to explore the issue without this limit and the disagreement eventually spilled over to a chambers application.

In addressing the fact that limits can be placed on questioning pre-existing health Mr. Justice Tindale noted that the correct balance in this case likely lies somewhere between the Plaintiff’s position of only 2 years and the Defendants position of a lifetime.  The court provided the following reasons:

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Federal Court Greenlights Use of AI to Write Legal Decisions

Is it ok for AI to be used to write a legal decision impacting someone else’s rights?  According to a decision released this week by a Canadian Federal judge the answer is yes.

The case (Haghshenas v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)) involved a refused immigration application to Canada.  The applicant argued the denial was written by AI and relying on AI was a breach of administrative law principles.  In finding the use of AI as a tool to write the decision was fair  Justice Brown provided the following reasons:

[24] As to artificial intelligence, the Applicant submits the Decision is based on artificial intelligence generated by Microsoft in the form of “Chinook” software. However, the evidence is that the Decision was made by a Visa Officer and not by software. I agree the Decision had input assembled by artificial intelligence, but it seems to me the Court on judicial review is to look at the record and the Decision and determine its reasonableness in accordance with Vavilov. Whether a decision is reasonable or unreasonable will determine if it is upheld or set aside, whether or not artificial intelligence was used. To hold otherwise would elevate process over substance.

[28] Regarding the use of the “Chinook” software, the Applicant suggests that there are questions about its reliability and efficacy. In this way, the Applicant suggests that a decision rendered using Chinook cannot be termed reasonable until it is elaborated to all stakeholders how machine learning has replaced human input and how it affects application outcomes. I have already dealt with this argument under procedural fairness, and found the use of artificial intelligence is irrelevant given that (a) an Officer made the Decision in question, and that (b) judicial review deals with the procedural fairness and or reasonableness of the Decision as required by Vavilov.

Why OnlyFans and Other Models Should Know About BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act

This week BC passed the Intimate Images Protection Act.

This law gives victims of wrongful intimate image distribution powerful new remedies and rights to control their intimate images online.

The law is broad in its application.  It captures activity such as revenge porn and other wrongful sharing of intimate images.  The broad language may also give power tools to models and others that have their intellectual property shared beyond their consent.

If you have images behind an online paywall you consent to people that subscribe to view your images.  You don’t consent to people stealing the images and reposting them for others to see outside of that paywall.

The BC Intimate Images Protection Act is worded so broadly it may provide a meaningful remedy in these circumstances (and one that is faster and potentially more effective that cumbersome copyright prosecutions).

If you can prove there is an ‘intimate image’ of you online, and you can prove that you do not consent to that image being ‘distributed’ in the way that it is the law gives you remedies.  These include the ability to get a quick BC Civil Resolution Tribunal order that the image be removed.  By whoever is posting it.  Failure to abide by the order can give rise to claims of damages for the continued distribution.  These damages can include claims for compensatory loss (ie lost income), and even aggravated and punitive damages.

If your intimate images are being shared without or beyond your consent get familiar with this law.  If you want to learn more you can contact us for a free consultation. 

 

Intimate Images Protection Act Now Law

The British Columba Intimate Images Protection Act, which was first introduced earlier this month, has now passed into law.  It passed third reading and received Royal Assent on March 30, 2023.

This law was presented to the public as an anti revenge porn law.  But it does so much more than that.

If you have an intimate image ‘distributed’ by others you can tell them to stop.  Even if you previously consented to the sharing or distribution of the image you can revoke your consent.   Anyone who refuses to abide by these wishes can be ordered to stop distributing the images.  The law also gives victims the right to seek compensatory, aggravated and punitive damages for the unwanted distribution of their intimate images.  It applies not just to actual images but even deep fakes and other damaging nude or sexual images.

MacIsaac & Company is proud to expand our legal services to provide victims of unwanted intimate image distribution assistance in sending demand letters, obtaining judicial or tribunal takedown orders, and litigation for damages.

Your Body.  Your Choice.  Even Online.

 

Jiu Jitsu Club Ordered to Pay Paralyzed Student $46 Million in Damages For Negligence

I’ve spent a lot of time on this site discussing the standard of care of combat sports coaches and the possibility of negligence lawsuits.  This week headlines broke illustrating such concerns are not merely academic.  A California based brazilian jiu jitsu club was ordered to pay substantial damages to an injured student following jury findings of negligently caused paralysis.

The Times of San Diego report that this week a California jury ordered Del Mar Jiu Jitsu club to pay just over $46,000,000 in total damages to a student who suffered partial quadriplegia at the hands of an instructor.

The Times reports that the Plaintiff “was paired with instructor Francisco Iturralde, a second-degree black belt, who placed Greener in a position that put his entire body weight upon Greener and crushed his cervical vertebrae, paralyzing him. Attorneys say Greener was hospitalized for several months and suffered multiple strokes, among a series of other ailments….The jury deliberated for two days before returning its verdict on Tuesday, which awarded Greener $637,959 for loss of past and future earnings, $1,337,153.23 for past medical expenses, $8,500,000 for future medical expenses, $11,000,000 for past pain and suffering, and $25,000,000 for future pain and suffering.

The idea that a combat sports coach can be negligent is not novel.  Yes combat sports have a level of danger to them.  But coaches still have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to teach their students safely.  In doing so they must meet the applicable standard of care.  This will include being knowledgeable about the known harms that can arise from poor coaching, having reasonable systems in place to minizine these risks and following these systems.

Seperate from this tragic case of paralysis, coaches should be aware of CTE and Concussions and have reasonable policies in place to mitigate these risks if they are in the combat sports business.

The High Cost of Negligent Sport – Rec Soccer Player Ordered To Pay over $100K in Damages

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, ordering a Defendant to pay over $100,000 in damages following a negligent slide tackle in a recreational soccer game.

In the case (Miller v. Cox) the plaintiff suffered a grade 3 dislocation of the right acromioclavicular joint as a result of the tackle.  Several witnesses testified and the court found all of them credible except the Defendant who the court found gave “self-serving and wholly unbelievable” testimony.

The Court found the Defendant approached the Plaintiff from a blind spot, had both his feet leave the ground and violently slide tackled the Plaintiff while having no chance of actually contacting the ball.  The court found doing so was negligent.  In finding liability the Court provided the following summary of the legal principles in play and following findings of fact:

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Your Body, Your Choice. Even Online ™

I am proud to introduce MacIsaac & Company’s Intimate Image Protection Claims practice.

Last week the BC Government introduced Bill 12.  You can read here for background but in short this Bill will be provide British Columbians with powerful tools to take back control of their intimate images.

We are here to help.  MacIsaac & Company’s Intimate Image Protection Claims services will include drafting demand letters for removal of images, obtaining binding Tribunal Orders for the removal of unwanted images and litigation for damages against those who violate your consent.

While Bill 12 is not yet law it will be retroactive once passed and there are meaningful steps you can take right now to help regain control of your intimate images.

Click here for more information or to arrange your confidential free consultation.

Your Body, Your Choice.  Even Online ™

 

One Thing You Can Do Right Now To Reclaim Your Intimate Images

Do you have intimate images of you that have been distributed without your consent?  Or with consent that you now wish to withdraw?

There is one thing British Columbians can do right now to start regaining control of these images.

As discussed yesterday, BC introduced Bill 12, titled the “Intimate Images Protection Act” which will give a whole assortment of new legal tools to people who want to regain control of unwanted use of their intimate images.

The Bill is not law yet, so how can it already help?  Because it will be retroactive.  The bill states that

On the date this Act is brought into force, this Act applies to the following that occur on or after the date this Act receives First Reading in the Legislative Assembly:

(a) a distribution of an intimate image depicting an individual, without the individual’s consent;

(b) a threat to distribute an intimate image depicting an individual.

In plain English this means that once this Bill becomes law that any of the above that occured after this week (the date of First Reading) is an unlawful act.

So what can you do right now?  Write to anyone that has distributed your unwanted intimate images, tell them you did not or no longer consent to those images being distributed.  Demand that they make every reasonable effort to destroy and otherwise make the intimate image unavailable to others.  Tell them that if they fail to do so you will use that failure in your claim for remedies under your soon to be acquired legal rights under BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act.

 

BC Revenge Porn Bill Creates Concept of “Revocable Consent”

This week BC introduced a bill which proposes to give victims of revenge porn more legal remedies.

Imagine you share intimate images with a partner who later abuses that trust and leaks them on the internet.  Or imagine someone obtains images without your consent at all and posts them on line.   Or threatens to.  The proposed BC law creates new remedies for these situations.

But it goes further.  Bill 12, titled the “Intimate Images Protection Act” goes on to create the concept of “revocable consent”.  Meaning that even if you consented to images being online in the first place (such as a live stream) you may still have a remedy to have them removed.

In the broadest of terms the Bill gives victims (including minors and even deceased individuals) the right to bring an application to a ‘decision maker’ to seek various remedies including the removal of the images and awards of damages.  The ‘decision makers’ are broadly defined to include BC Supreme Court judges, provincial court judges, and even tribunal members of BC’s online court the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

In a sweeping power the Bill allows applicants to seek take down orders without notice and even if they sue the wrong party the ‘decision maker’ can make a whole array of orders to whoever can take down the image including

(b) order the person who distributed the intimate image to

(i) delete or destroy all copies of the intimate image in the person’s possession or control, and

(ii) make every reasonable effort to make the intimate image unavailable to others, including by

(A) having the intimate image removed from any platform operated by an internet intermediary and from any other electronic form of application, software, database and communication method, and

(B) having the intimate image de-indexed from any search engine;

(c) order an internet intermediary or other person or organization to

(i) remove the intimate image from any platform operated by the internet intermediary and from any other electronic form of application, software, database or communication method,

(ii) delete or destroy the intimate image, and

(iii) de-index the intimate image from any search engine;

(d) order a person to provide any information the decision maker considers necessary to further the objectives of removal, deletion, destruction or de-indexing of the intimate image;

(e) make any other order the decision maker considers just and reasonable in the circumstances.

Those who want ‘intimate images’ removed have fairly easy remedies with the law proposing a reverse onus saddling respondents with”the burden of proving that the image is not an intimate image because the individual depicted in the image did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the image”.

The definition of ‘intimate images’ casts a wide net and covers the following:

a visual recording or visual simultaneous representation of an individual, whether or not the individual is identifiable and whether or not the image has been altered in any way, in which the individual is or is depicted as

(a) engaging in a sexual act,

(b) nude or nearly nude, or

(c) exposing the individual’s genital organs, anal region or breasts,

and in relation to which the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy at,

(d) in the case of a recording, the time the recording was made and, if distributed, the time of the distribution, and

(e) in the case of a simultaneous representation, the time the simultaneous representation occurred;

Potential damages are broad and include non pecuniary damages, aggravated damages, punitive damages and even administrative penalties.

The law by default protects the identity of the victims.

It also requires internet intermediaries (think platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram and TikTok) to comply with removal orders and leaves them open to damage claims if they have not “taken reasonable steps to address the unlawful distribution of intimate images in the use of its services.“.

On the topic of revocable consent the proposed law specifically says as follows:

(1) An individual who consented to the distribution of an intimate image depicting the individual may revoke consent to that distribution at any time.

(2) If an individual depicted in an intimate image

(a) consented to the distribution of the intimate image,

(b) later revokes that consent, and

(c) communicates that revocation to a person who distributed the intimate image,

the person who distributed the intimate image must make every reasonable effort to make the intimate image unavailable to others.

(3) The person who distributed the intimate image commits an unlawful act under section 3 if the person does not make the efforts described in subsection (2) within a period of time that is reasonable in the circumstances.

The Bill is worded very broadly and even can apply to images in which they cannot be identified and even cases where they consented to the  “image’s distribution by a person other than the individual“.  This wording is so broad it could potentially target content such as consensual adult pornography where a person has regret after the fact.

The Bill is not law yet.  It is always possible the language will be amended before it does pass into law.  The Bill also allows for significant regulations to be passed further clarifying it but as it presently reads it proposes a broad range of far sweeping remedies for victims of revenge porn and more.  This is legislation worth keeping an eye on.