While the BC Supreme Court Act allows parties to apply to transfer claims to small claims court such applications are rarely brought in personal injury claims where the quantum of claims can vary widely based on how evidence unfolds.
Today reasons for judgment were published by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, hearing and rejecting such an application brought by ICBC.
In today’s case (Herrera v. Miller) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and sued for damages. After examinations for discovery the Defendant brought an application to move the case to small claims court arguing the damages could not exceed the limit of that court because the collision was “relatively minor, that the plaintiff suffered insignificant injuries for which he received very little treatment, and that the injuries did not seriously affect the plaintiff’s enjoyment of recreational and sporting activities, or his employment“.
The Plaintiff opposed pointing to recent case law for injuries similar to his with quantum assessments in excess of the small claims court jurisdiction. In dismissing the application, ordering costs payable to the plaintiff and finding the claim could stay in Supreme Court Mr. Justice Giaschi provided the following reasons: