Tag: BC Supreme Court Rule 7-1

Court Finds BCSC Rules Require Actual Insurance Policy Production

Several years back the BC Supreme Court Rules were amended requiring parties to a lawsuit to disclose any policy of insurance that’s in play that may satisfy a judgment granted in the action.
Since the rule amendment came into force I am unaware of any cases commenting on its scope of disclosure (other than cases commenting on the relevance of insurance on costs orders) until now.  This week the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, published reasons for judgement finding this rule requires the full policy to be disclosed.
In this week’s case (Sinnett v. Loewen) the Plaintiff sued for damages following a vehicle collision.  The Defendant, after being pressed for disclosure, provided “a screenshot taken from ICBC’s records of the particulars of the defendant’s insurance in effect at the time of the accident”.
The Plaintiff brought application seeking disclosure of the actual policy in place.  In granting the request Master Bouck provided the following reasons:

[15]         In its decision, the Court of Appeal takes a broad view of what information should produced pursuant to the above-cited rule. For example, such information is not limited to an actual document detailing a policy of insurance but rather encompasses information about “insurance coverage.”

[16]         Furthermore, that Court found that all Supreme Court Civil Rules ought to be interpreted in such a fashion as to encourage the settlement of claims: para. 129. Thus, by disclosing their respective insurance coverages (including any UMP coverage available to the plaintiff), the parties in this case will be in a more informed position to reach a negotiated settlement.

[17]         The defendant in the case at bar further submits that there is no evidence before the court to suggest that another insurance policy (that is, one providing “excess coverage”) exists. This is true, but given the mandatory language used in SCCR 7‑1(3), there is an obligation on the defendant to list any such documents. If no such document appears on the defendant’s list, the plaintiff may choose to pursue the existence of the documents at an examination for discovery. If listed, the issue of a particular document’s relevancy and thus its admissibility into evidence can still be challenged by the defendant at trial: SCCR 7‑1(4).

[18]         In the result, there will be an order that the defendant include in his list of documents any insurance policy or certificate of insurance or any other type of document that discloses insurance coverage under which an insurer may be liable to satisfy in whole or any part of a judgment granted in this action or to indemnify or reimburse the defendant for any money paid by the defendant in satisfaction of the whole or any part of such judgment.

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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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