When you are involved in a suit for damages in an ICBC injury claim can you access the opposing parties driving history? Reasons for judgement were recently brought to my attention making just such an order.
In the recent case (Rothenbusch v. Van Boeyen) the Plaintiff claimed damages against the Defendant. Liability (fault for the car crash) was at issue. During the examination for discovery the Plaintiff’s lawyer asked the Defendant how many speeding tickets he had. He could not recall exactly and indicated “one or two“. The lawyer then asked for him to produce his driving history and he refused.
In the application for production of the Defendant’s driving history Master Caldwell of the BC Supreme Court held that “(the Defendant) was unable to provide an actual firm answer (as to how many speeding tickets he had)…The defence says that the driving pattern is not particularly relevant, unlike defence requests for previous medical records and that type of thing. She indicates that this is a highly invasive application with respect to the privacy of the Defendant, and that unlike a plaintiff who opens their life up to investigation when they commence an action, the same cannot be said of the defence. I am not really satisfied that that is necessarily the case, particularly in a situation where liability is at issue as it is here. I am satisfied based on the questions asked and answered and the form of the answers contained in the discovery transcript, that this record as sought may be producible.”
Despite ordering production of this record the Court went on to note that the same may not be admissible at trial. Specifically Master Caldwell held that “Whether or not (the driving record) is relevant and passes the test of admissibility of trial will be up to the trial judge…I will order that the Defendant provide a copy of his driving record for a period of three years prior to the …accident”.