Jury Notice Struck So Judge Alone Trial Can Proceed Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
Reasons were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, striking a jury notice so a trial could proceed without the need for a lengthy adjournment.
In today’s case (Vacchiano v. Chen) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2015 collision. Both liability and damages were contested. ICBC elected trial by jury which was scheduled in July, 2020. Due to Covid-19 all civil jury selections were suspended and jury trials cancelled up to and including September 7, 2020 everywhere in the province. As a result the trial would face a lengthy adjournment, about 2 years, if the matter was to proceed with a jury.
The Plaintiff brought an application for the jury notice to be struck. The Court agreed that doing so would be fair as a 2 year adjournment would be more prejudicial to the parties than the Defendant losing their prefered mode of trial. In reaching this decision Master Muir provided the following reasons: