ICBC to appeal $400k ruling for malicious prosecution of refugee

ICBC has filed notice of its intention to appeal a judge's decision awarding $400k to a newly arrived refugee.

Danica Arsenovski and her husband were hit by a car shortly after coming to Canada

ICBC is appealing a $400k award to a newly arrived refugee. (CBC)

ICBC has filed notice of its intention to appeal a judge's decision awarding $400k to a newly arrived refugee.

Earlier this month, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered the insurance corporation to compensate Danica Arsenovski for malicious prosecution. 

Arsenovski and her husband had recently come to Canada as refugees from the former Yugoslavia when they were struck by a car and injured while crossing an intersection in Burnaby in January 2000.

After the crash, Arsenovski gave a statement to ICBC through a translator because she did not speak much English.

The statement detailed the injuries she received and what she remembered about the crash, but did not specifically say whether Arsenovski herself had been struck by the car or whether she had fallen when her husband was struck and fell into her.

ICBC's report later alleged Arsenovski had made a false statement, and she was later charged, though the charge was eventually stayed.

Strong words for ICBC

In her written decision Justice Susan Griffin said ICBC's conduct was high handed and reprehensible.

She wrote in her decision that John Gould, the ICBC investigator in the case, wrote a misleading report to Crown, intending to dissuade civil claims against the insurance agency.

Griffin said the effects of the case have stayed with Arsenovski, to a point where she hasn't even told anyone about the charge, even after it was lifted.

Griffin had harsh words for the Crown corporation and noted that one of the agency's key purposes is to provide compensation to people who are involved in accidents.

"The corporation does not serve the residents of this province when it uses tactics of intimidation to discourage civil claims," she wrote.

ICBC declined comment as the matter is before the courts.


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