Norris v. Burgess, 2016 BCSC 1451
RHE defends injured victim in a 20-day Jury Trial.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”) had conduct of the defence and elected a jury trial. The defendant admitted liability just before the commencement of a scheduled 20-day trial, which began on November 16, 2015.
Central to the trial was hours of covert surveillance from 2013 and 2014 that was taken on behalf of ICBC and used to dispute medical evidence of Norris’s declining health. Norris was surveilled over the course of 2013-2014 engaging in various activities, with footage disclosed within the appropriate time frame, before trial and prior to the trial management conference. On October 20, 2015, a trial management conference was held, while John Rice and Jon Harbut maintained that surveillance video, ordered by ICBC, may also exist for 2015. Despite the October 23, 2015 Court Order, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Miller, did not become aware of the 2015 video until December 6, 2015. By this time, most of the plaintiff’s case had been presented and ICBC was aware of the 2015 video. Some of the footage from the 2015 video showed Norris in a fragile physical state and, on April 28, 2015, she can be seen entering a Starbucks, sitting having a coffee, collapsing and taken away by ambulance crew. ICBC was court ordered to reimburse Norris $155,340.86 for her lawyers’ full 30 per cent contingency fee and their disbursements of $175,868.64.