Nearly $350,000 Awarded, Far in Excess of ICBC Offer


Larry Lafond retained James Cotter after he was injured in a motor vehicle accident which left him with chronic neck pain and low back pain.  Despite these injuries he did not miss a lot of his work, due to the fact that he had a very accommodating employer.  His employer allowed him to do tasks which were much easier on his body, and to use his sick bank to make up lost wages.  These injuries, however, greatly impacted Mr. Lafond’s life such that his recreational activities were greatly limited, and his ability to enjoy life outside of work was greatly diminished.  Mr. Lafond was in his early 50’s, and was very worried as to how these injuries would impact him in the future.  He was concerned that he was not going to be able to continue with his job either because he could not continue due to his chronic pain, or his employer would sell the business and he would have to deal with a less accommodating new employer.

Unfortunately, ICBC did not believe that his injuries were as significant as both Mr. Lafond and his doctors said.  ICBC retained a specialist doctor whom they use quite often, who gave an opinion that Mr. Lafond had pre-existing back pain even though there was no evidence of any back complaints in the 5 years prior to the accident.  Unfortunately, ICBC would not offer enough money to reasonably settle this matter, as in our assessment the offers from ICBC were far below what Mr. Lafond would get at Trial. 

James Cotter and Leah Volkers took this claim to Trial, it lasted 6 days.  The Trial Judge fully believed Mr. Lafond and the impact of the injuries on his life.  The Trial Judge completely dismissed the ICBC specialist’s opinion.  The Judge awarded Mr. Lafond nearly $350,000 plus reimbursement of his litigation expenses.  This amount was far in excess of what ICBC was offering to try and resolve the matter.  At the end of the day, the Trial Judge made an award which was fair and reasonable in the circumstances, and it fulfilled the purpose of our legal system, which is to put the accident victim back in a position he would have been, had the accident not occurred.

Click here to read the full Court Decision.