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Offer to Settle Better than Jury Award and Costs Awarded Against Claimant


This personal injury claimant did not accept a reasonable offer to settle and the award at trial was significantly less than the offer. The claimant was offered more than $400,000 to settle his personal injury case before court but he refused. The jury awarded him under $200,000.(Luckett v. Chahal,2017 BCSC 1983)
The court found the claimant was well aware of the significant credibility issues at stake, chose to gamble by going to trial, lost and  “He should live with the consequences which Rule 9-1(4) seeks to avoid.”
This personal injury lawsuit arises from four motor vehicle accidents which occurred within ten months of each other. The trial proceeded over 15 days and the jury deliberated for two and a half days before awarding the following:

Pain and suffering: $ 55,000.00
Pecuniary Loss:
a) Past Loss of Income: $ 92,000.00
b) Loss of Future Earning Capacity: _
c) Cost of Future Care: $  4,000.00
d) Special Damages: $ 13,194.27
Total Damages for Accidents #2, 3, and 4: $164,194.27
Less: 100% Liability for Accident #2: ($  9,361.00)
Total Award:  $154,833.27

By an offer to settle delivered three months before the trial offered to settle the claims by payment of the sum of $400,000 plus settlement costs and disbursements as defined in the offer. By an offer to settle delivered seven days before the trial the defendants offered to settle the claims by payment of the sum of $413,110.55 plus settlement costs and disbursements as defined in the offer.
The claimant offered to settle his claims in exchange for payment of the sum of $1,250,000 plus settlement costs and disbursements as defined in the offer. The reasons are silent on whether this included ICBC accident benefits.

 The claimant was entitled to his costs and disbursements at scale B in relation to the claims arising from Accidents #3 and #4 to seven days before the trial and the defendants were awarded their costs and disbursements at scale B thereafter. Also, the defendant in Accident #2, was entitled to his costs at scale B pertaining to the liability issues arising from that accident, in particular his examination for discovery.

Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: icbc case examples, jury awards, offer to settle, Pain and Suffering, Rule 9-1 Offers to Settle, settlement offer

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