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Punitive Damages Ordered Against ICBC

In what can fairly be called a scathing decision, Madam Justice Griffin of the British Columbia Supreme Court released Reasons for Judgment today in a matter brought against ICBC.  In the case, Madam Justice Griffin was very critical of a series of steps taken by ICBC, particularly some employees within the SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Department.

In my experience, the SIU adjusters are typically quite aggressive with respect to pursuing cases in which they believe British Columbians have committed insurance fraud. By way of example, one of the adjusters in this case signed off on what might be suggested to have been an ill-advised email as the "fraud spanker".

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Based on the conduct of ICBC, Madam Justice Griffin ordered punitive damages in the amount of $350,000, stating in part: "...there is no doubt that the conduct of the kind that occurred in this case could dissuade people who have proper claims from vigorously pursuing them against ICBC...".

ICBC has indicated an intention to appeal the decision. We will follow the progress of this matter and post on any further developments.

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