Will ICBC’s allegations of fraud taint the jury?
On Monday (after a two-week trial and three-days of deliberation) the jury gave Dainya Watson compensation for her injuries and losses, and the closure she’s been seeking for over three years. Dainya and her horse Tornado were victims of a 2013 hit-and-run. ICBC argued that the incident never happened.
Dainya told the jury that she and her horse were side-swiped by a van. It knocked them over, and her horse rolled on top of her. After seeing her get up, Dainya said the motorist drove away. She gave chase, and concluded that she found the vehicle at the motorist’s home. She reported the incident and her injuries to ICBC.
“ICBC denied my claim from the beginning and I was just relieved when the jury came back and saw through ICBC and what they were trying to do,” Dainya Watson said (quoted by Vancouver Sun).
The firm representing ICBC has stressed that they did not accuse her of fraud, and were merely defending their customer.
This decision comes less than a month after a judge ordered ICBC to pay $350,000 to a woman for their false allegations of fraud against her (Arsenovski v. Bodin, 2016 BCSC 359). Both of these decisions come in the midst of ICBC’s campaign to raise awareness of the fraudulent claims made by BC drivers – with ICBC alleging that fraud makes up 20% of all claims! If these two recent “losses” on fraud allegations are any indicator, ICBC may also be wrong on many other cases where they are alleging fraud. One hopes that all juries will be like the one on Dainya’s case: savvy to the tactics of ICBC.