Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Penticton Registry, dismissing a defence application for costs and awarding a Plaintiff full costs despite receiving a jury award substantially smaller than a pre trial formal settlement offer.
In today’s case (Duarte v. McMillan) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2016 collision that the Defendant accepted fault for. The matter proceeded to trial by Jury, an election made by ICBC on the Defendants behalf.
Prior to trial the Plaintiff made a formal settlement offer for $175,000. The Defendant made several formal offers with the highest being $88,000 plus costs. At trial the jury awarded far less with global damages being assessed at $22,000 being comprised of $7,300 for costs of future care and loss of homemaking capacity and $14,700 for non-pecuniary damages.
ICBC sought to have the Plaintiff pay costs. The court declined and instead awarded the Plaintiff full costs finding with the evidence available it was reasonable to reject the settlement offer and proceed to trial. In reaching this decision Madam Justice McDonald provided the following reasons: