Jaehrlich v. Kuechler, 2019 BCSC 1126
Another “no settlement” offer case from ICBC leads to $250,000 trial damages award to youth counsellor
John Rice and Hector MacDonald were trial counsel for Angelika Jaehrlich, a 59 year old youth counsellor who was seriously injured as a backseat passenger in a taxi that was violently struck from the rear in a four-vehicle collision on Highway 99 near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Angelika’s injuries included a concussion (defined as a mild traumatic brain injury, MTBI), and chronic soft tissue injuries which she said seriously impacted the quality of her life, her work capacity as a counsellor to troubled youth at the Children’s Foundation, and her ability to recreate and exercise at the high level she had enjoyed her entire life.
ICBC had care and conduct of the defense of the claim. This is a case that in any climate of reasonableness should have settled without the time and expense to litigate in court but In keeping with ICBC’s 2019 “low ball” settlement offer or “meat chart” litigation strategy, ICBC made no formal offer to settle pursuant to the Rules of Court. At trial ICBC argued Angelika’s injuries weren’t as severe as she alleged, that she did not suffer a head injury, that her work capacity was not impaired, and that she should recover almost nothing to treat her injuries going forward. In his reasons for judgment the trial judge found Angelika a straight forward woman and accepted that the car crash caused significant harms and losses to her, including an MTBI and chronic pain which impacted her in all aspects of her daily living and in her work. The Court awarded almost $250,000 in damages to the Plaintiff, including: $110,000 for her pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life; over $26,000 in lost wages and income; $70,000 for loss of future earning capacity; $25,000 for cost of future care; and $16,634.92 as reimbursement for her treatment expenses since the collision.
Click here to read to the full reasons for judgment.