Court Permits Plaintiff To Amend Notice Of Civil Claim In Hit And Run Case

In Bedoret v. Badham, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident, and brought an ICBC claim. Counsel for the Plaintiff received information from ICBC as to the identity of the Plaintiff, which turned out to be erroneous. The Plaintiff used this information when naming the Defendant in the initiating legal documentation. After the expiry of the limitation period, ICBC denied that the named Defendant was involved in the accident at all. The Plaintiff’s lawyer then tried to name ICBC as a nominal Defendant, however ICBC refused. The Plaintiff brought an application to amend the Notice of Civil Claim, however ICBC refused. ICBC’S position drew harsh criticism from the Court, who granted the Plaintiff’s application to amend.

 

[16]         ICBC takes the astonishing position in this application that plaintiff’s counsel should not have relied on the March 1, 2010 letter setting out the third party particulars. If that letter cannot be relied on by the plaintiff’s counsel, then I wonder what the purpose of sending the letter is. The plaintiff’s counsel submits, and I accept, that it is standard practice in the personal injury bar to send an introductory letter asking ICBC for particulars and for copies of statements. It is common practice to wait for the reply letter before issuing a notice of civil claim. No letter was ever sent to the plaintiff’s counsel advising him that the contents of the March 1, 2010 letter were incorrect. It was not until the response to civil claim was filed after the expiry of the limitation period that ICBC informed the plaintiff that the named third party was not the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.

 

[17]         Now ICBC opposes the application to be added as a nominal defendant. It submits that the plaintiff knew or ought to have known that ICBC was handling this file as an unidentified motorist case despite the fact that the official letter from ICBC to his lawyer said exactly the opposite.

 

[32]         I find that it is just and convenient to add ICBC as a nominal defendant. I do not find the delay in applying to court to be inordinate. I will not order that the action against Mr. Badhan be discontinued. I will order that the misnomer be corrected.

 

[33]         As a result of the unreasonable position taken by ICBC in this case, I find that Scale B costs do not adequately compensate the plaintiff, and I order that the proposed defendant, ICBC, pay costs to the plaintiff in any event of the cause at Scale C.

 

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