Gibson v. ICBC, 2010 BCSC 1097
August 16, 2010- This is a hit and run motorcycle accident case that seems to have gone sideways in part because an anonymous tip was given over the “ICBC tip line” after the Judge heard the case.
While riding his motorcycle late at night the injury claimant was struck from behind. At trial ICBC admitted fault and the claimant proved he suffered an injury to the nerve endings in his left elbow which results in numbness to the fingers in his left hand. The Court of Appeal sent the case back for a new trial because the trial judge did not give adequate reasoning for the awards.
Before the appeal was heard an anonymous tip was given over the “ICBC tip line” indicating that the accident stated by the claimant to have been a hit and run had been falsely reported. ICBC now asked the court to allow it to withdraw the admission of fault and re-argue the case. In allowing ICBC to change their position the judges stated:
“ As the Court of Appeal on the 20th of May 2008 ordered a new trial, this issue, in my view, becomes moot. Positions taken by either party at or prior to the original trial will not have any applicability at the new trial. The pleadings are as they were at the commencement of the first trial subject of course to the amendments sought. Counsel provided the authority Dawson v. Great Central Railway (1919), K.B.D. Vol. 88, 1177 at page 1181:
Swinfen Eady, M.R. — … The admission was only for the purpose of that trial; they may make another admission. It is not a question of withdrawal. On the new trial they may not make the same admission, but some other admission. They are not bound on the second trial by an admission made on the first trial for the purpose of that trial.” Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should ICBC be allowed to change the decision to admit liability based on an anonymous tip?