ICBC found liable for malicious prosecution

VANCOUVER -- A British Columbia judge has awarded a woman who "experienced the wrath" of the province's insurance corporation nearly $400,000.

See Full Article

Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin said in a written decision released Wednesday that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and one of its investigators are liable for malicious prosecution, and that their conduct in the case was high-handed and reprehensible.

Danica Arsenovski and her husband had recently come to Canada as refugees from the former Yugoslavia when they were struck by a car and injured while crossing an intersection in Burnaby in January 2000.

After the crash, Arsenovski gave a statement to ICBC through a translator because she does not speak much English.

The statement detailed the injuries she received and what she remembered about the crash, but did not specifically say whether Arsenovski herself had been struck by the car or whether she had fallen when her husband was struck and fell into her.

Arsenovski was later charged with making a false statement.

Griffin wrote in her decision that John Gould, the ICBC investigator in the case, wrote a misleading report to Crown counsel recommending the charge, intending to dissuade civil claims against the insurance agency.

The report alleged Arsenovski had "clearly" made a false statement "where she claimed she was knocked down and injured after her husband had been knocked into her."

The judge said Gould, a former police officer, "cherry-picked" evidence for the report and misstated what Arsenovski said in her statement.

She said Gould also encouraged other agencies, such as the health and immigration ministries, to take action against the woman, who was vulnerable, being new to Canada and unable to speak much English.

"Mr. Gould pursued Mrs. Arsenovski with a vengeance that was significantly out of proportion with any objectively reasonable concern he could have had as to whether or not she actually might make a claim," Griffin wrote.

The charge was eventually stayed on the day Arsenovski's trial for making a false statement was set to begin.

But the effects of the experience have stayed with her, the judge said, noting how the woman "choked up in court" and how she has not told anyone, including her siblings and adult children, about the charge, even after it was lifted.

"The stain she feels on her character as a result of being charged criminally might never be erased," Griffin wrote.

She awarded Arsenovksi $387,225.34 in damages and costs.

Cases such as this could dissuade people who have valid claims from pursuing them, the judge said in laying out her reasons for the penalty.

"A strong message of denunciation must be sent to ICBC," she wrote.

Griffin also had harsh words for the Crown corporation and noted that one of the agency's key purposes is to provide compensation to people who are involved in accidents.

"The corporation does not serve the residents of this province when it uses tactics of intimidation to discourage civil claims," she wrote.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wynne to shuffle several senior cabinet posts: CP

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne is shuffling several senior portfolios in her cabinet, less than five months before the Ontario election, The Canadian Press has learned. Deputy Premier and Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews, Treasury Board President Liz Sandals and Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid have all said they're not running in the June election, and Wynne is filling those jobs with politicians who are up for re-election. Source
  • Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

    Canada News CBC News
    Federal New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh pulled back the curtain on his closely guarded private life, letting Canadians know Tuesday night that he is engaged. Singh, 38, proposed to girlfriend Gurkiran Kaur, 27, at a private party Tuesday night just blocks away from the Ontario legislature in Toronto where he served as a provincial legislator for six years. Source
  • Puerto Rico embraces 'broken windows' policing amid surge in killings

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Federal and local authorities in Puerto Rico said Tuesday that they will implement a "broken windows" policing campaign to fight a surge in killings across the U.S. territory, which has reported 46 homicides so far this month -- double the number at the same point last year. Source
  • 2 Koreas talk about Olympic co-operation ahead of IOC meeting

    World News CBC News
    The two Koreas are meeting Wednesday for the third time in about 10 days to continue their discussions on Olympics co-operation, days ahead of talks with the IOC on North Korean participation in the upcoming Winter Games in the South. Source
  • Young Hong Kong democracy activist sentenced to 3 months in jail

    World News CTV News
    Pro-democracy young activist Joshua Wong talks to reporters in front of the Court of Final Appeal Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Vincent Yu/AP Photo) Source
  • Nigerian army releases 244 suspects who denounced Boko Haram

    World News CTV News
    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- Nigeria's army released 244 Boko Haram suspects who have denounced their membership in the deadly extremist group, Nigerian army officials said Tuesday. Those released Monday included 118 adult males, 56 women, 19 teens and 51 children, according to operation commander Maj. Source
  • Longshot bid proposes splitting California into two states

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A fresh effort is underway to split California into multiple states, one including its coastal cities and the other its rural and inland areas. "New California" is just the latest proposal to divvy up the nation's most populous state. Source
  • Myanmar army enjoys popularity surge amid Rohingya crackdown

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- Activist Nyo Tun spent 10 years as a political prisoner locked away by Myanmar's military in the notorious Insein prison, where he endured beatings and other cruelty for his efforts to bring democracy. Source
  • U.S. Navy filing homicide charges against ship commanders over two 2017 collisions

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Five officers involved in two U.S. Navy ship collisions last year that killed a total of 17 sailors are being charged with negligent homicide, the Navy said Tuesday. A Navy spokesman, Capt. Source
  • Mormon church appoints 93-year-old ex-surgeon as president

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY -- The 93-year-old former heart surgeon named Tuesday as the new president of the Mormon Church signalled his intention to make few changes in policy regarding the role of women and LGBT issues -- two topics that the faith has grappled with in recent years. Source