Judgement Exceeds ICBC Valuation


Ms. Harris was involved in a significant motor vehicle accident on May 27, 2012.  At the time, she was a young mother of two and was doing her best to help provide for her family while caring for her young children.  Unfortunately, the accident caused Ms. Harris to develop chronic pain into her neck, right shoulder, back and hips.  The chronic pain caused her great difficulty in managing her home life and her job.  She went from being a vibrant and energetic person to someone who was just barely getting by and surviving. 

Ms. Harris retained James Cotter and Allyson Edwards to advance her claim for injuries against ICBC.  Due to the soft tissue nature of her injuries, ICBC treated her complaints of chronic pain with suspicion.  Ms. Harris was the subject of surveillance and her neighborhood was canvassed by investigators seeking information about her daily and domestic activities.  This caused Ms. Harris incredible stress and embarrassment.  Neighbors that she did not even know were told that she was bringing a claim for injuries against ICBC and were asked whether they saw her doing physical activities in her yard or outside of her home.  These attempts to discredit Ms. Harris did not succeed because she was an honest and credible individual. She was forthright with respect to what she was able to do and how the injuries affected her. 

Despite her injuries, Ms. Harris was able to re-train and she obtained a job that she enjoyed.  Unfortunately, the nature of her injuries made it difficult for her to take advantage of overtime opportunities and to pursue advancement.  She had an accommodating employer but she was concerned that if her employment circumstances were to change, she might find herself unemployed.  She was fearful that if she had to find a new job,  no employer would want her due to her chronic pain and back issues. 

James Cotter and Allyson Edwards took this claim to a trial on January 23, 2017 for five days.  Mr. Justice Betton rendered a decision whereby he found Ms. Harris to be a credible person, and awarded her damages for pain and suffering, past wage loss, future cost of care, and future earning capacity loss.  These awards were made in order to replace what Ms. Harris had lost.  The total amount of the judgement was $292,536.96.  This amount was far greater than ICBC’s valuation of the claim prior to trial.

Click here to read the full court decision.