Giller v. Herron, 2024 BCSC 186
Court Awards Favourable Liability Split of 20/80 in RHE Client’s Favour
Matthew Burtini and Scott Morishita were trial counsel in a complex multi-party liability trial involving a motor vehicle accident.
The accident occurred in Langley at the intersection of 200th Street and 80th Avenue. Our client was travelling straight through the intersection and the Defendant was attempting an illegal U-Turn at the intersection. A high-speed T-bone collision ensued.
Since the outset of this case, the Defendant has maintained that she was not attempting a U-Turn, but rather, a normal left turn. The Court found this story unconvincing and contrary to the overwhelming engineering evidence concluding that the Defendant had, in fact, performed a U-Turn. Moreover, the Court found that the Defendant’s credibility was undermined by her rapid removal of a dash camera from her vehicle immediately after the collision, and later claiming that the camera stopped recording prior to the crash.
At trial, ICBC maintained that our client should be 50% at fault because she entered the intersection on a yellow light, was travelling 18 km/h over the speed limit in rainy weather conditions and failed to adhere to a “Prepare to Stop” advance warning flasher sign. The Court found that 20% was more appropriate, ruling that an illegal U-Turn in a busy intersection is significantly more dangerous and erratic—and more profoundly departs from the norm of reasonable driving conduct—than driving 18 km/h over the speed limit on a damp stretch of road that is known by drivers to contain swift-moving traffic. The U-Turning Defendant was found 80% liable for the accident.
This was a complicated case involving three forensic engineers, each with differing opinions. ICBC forced this case to trial via unreasonable negotiation tactics. The result is that our client will now have one less roadblock in her path to obtaining fair and reasonable compensation for her life-changing injuries.
The full reasons for judgment can be found here.