When Plaintiffs have their injury claim dismissed in the BC Supreme Court, not only do they get nothing to compensate them for their injuries, they actually end up having to pay the Defendant money. How can this be? The reason is something called “costs“. Generally speaking, the loser has to pay the winner’s Court costs and disbursements.
So how much money are we talking about here? The answer is thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, sometimes even over one hundred thousand dollars. Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, demonstrating this.
In this week’s case (Pearlman v. Atlantic Trading Company Ltd.) the Plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle collision in 2004. He sued the party he claimed was responsible for his injuries. He also sued ICBC alleging that ICBC “had requested a medical report from his family doctor whose authorization to provide the report had been revoked by the Plaintiff.”.
A jury dismissed the Plaintiff’s first claim and a Judge dismissed the Plaintiff’s second claim. ICBC was awarded their Court costs. The BC Supreme Court assessed these at $66,000 for the two claims combined. The Plaintiff then appealed these costs awards. Madam Justice Gropper dismissed the Plaintiff’s appeals and upheld the awards.
While this case does not contain any unique or novel principles of law, it is worth reviewing because it demonstrates the stark realty that people can pay a very high price if they are on the losing end of an ICBC claim in the BC Supreme Court.
If you are interested in more information on costs consequences in BC Supreme Court injury lawsuits you can click here to read my archived posts on this topic.