Reasons for judgement were recently published by BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) dismissing a claim for accelerated depreciation following a serious vehicle collision because the applicant named the wrong party.
In the recent case (Liang v. ICBC) the Applicant’s vehicle was involved in a collision where it sustained over $17,000 in damages. When the vehicle was repaired the Applicant believed its market value was compromised with an accelerated depreciation of several thousand dollars.
Instead of suing the at fault motorists she sued ICBC who presumably were their insurance company. The CRT dismissed the claim finding that the wrong party was sued. Legally it is true that ICBC would not be contractually liable to pay for accelerated depreciation to a plaintiff as that is a tort claim and such cases do need to be brought directly against negligent motorists, not their insurance company. Insurers do, however, pay damages for accelerated depreciation once their insured at fault motorist is held liable.
Interestingly the CRT refused to substitute the motorists in for ICBC finding that since the limitation period expired it would be prejudicial to do so. It is a bit difficult to follow this logic, assuming ICBC was the motorists insurer, as they are the ones who would ultimately be dealing with the claim in any event once the correct parties were named. The Applicant appeared reluctant to name the correct party at the outset which is equally hard to understand. It is worth noting that the BC Supreme Court can and regularly does allow the addition/substitution of parties after the expiration of a lawsuit and does so quite frequently. In any event below are the reasons Vice Chair Andrea Richie provided in dismissing the claim: