DBM is pleased to announce the third of a recent series of victories against ICBC appeals of the firm’s successes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. While many law firms farm out their appellate work to outside counsel, DBM is content to rely on the expertise of its own litigators in handling appeals brought against it by ICBC.

“It’s important that we effectively represent our injured clients against ICBC at all levels of court in British Columbia,” says Chris Bacon, one of the partners with the firm. “One of the advantages of this approach is cost-effectiveness for clients. It is much more efficient (and therefore cheaper) to have the lawyer who successfully tried the case in the court below handle the appeal because they already know the facts and the law that pertains to the case.”

The DBM “hat trick” includes:

Raguin v. ICBC, 2011 BCCA 482, where the firm was successful in defending a BC Supreme Court finding that massage therapy treatments are covered as a benefit under the no fault provisions of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act Regulation, which administers care and various treatments made available to British Columbians injured in automobile accidents, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Hannah v. ICBC, which initially arose when ICBC denied coverage to a DBM client injured during a purse snatching incident perpetrated by thieves in a moving vehicle. Ms. Hannah was dragged backwards and injured. The incident was complicated by the fact the thieves were not caught and remained unknown. ICBC attempted to quash the lawsuit based on the argument that the assault did not actively involve the ‘use’ of a motor vehicle, and was therefore, not covered under the unknown driver provisions of her insurance. ICBC’s argument was successfully rebutted by DBM lawyers. The lower court allowed the action and the Court of Appeal upheld that ruling.

Romanchych v. Valliantatos, 2010 BCCA 20, the issue in this case was entitlement to a loss of future earning capacity award made to a DBM client, who, although injured, still managed to work full-time despite her disability (a very common situation with injured victims of automobile accidents). DBM was successful in persuading the Court of Appeal that ICBC’s reasoning was without merit and that the award was fairly made.

The big winners at the end of the day… our clients.