As reported by Keith Fraser in The Province, March 24, 2010 “ICBC loses appeal to quash suit from crime victim,” DBM client Shirley Hannah was the victim of a violent drive-by-purse-snatching in a Coquitlam, BC supermarket parking lot. Ms. Hannah was injured when thieves, driving a van, grabbed the shoulder strap of her purse, throwing her backward and dragging her through the parking lot until the strap on her purse broke. Neither the driver nor the passenger in the van was identified and Ms. Hannah’s empty purse was later found in an abandoned stolen car. Injured and victimized, Ms. Hannah sought advice from Marcus Bolda who represented her in a suit against ICBC relying on s. 24(1) of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act – a provision that allows damages to be collected from ICBC in cases where the name of the driver of the offending vehicle is not known. ICBC argued that because a crime was involved and it wasn’t a case of negligence involving a motor vehicle, Ms. Hannah was not entitled to rely on the provision.
The Chambers Judge in Hannah v. John Doe rejected ICBC’s argument and found the van used by the purse snatchers was indeed being used as a motor vehicle and Ms. Hannah was entitled to rely on s.24(1) to support her claim. ICBC appealed. Marcus Bolda and Harmonie Roesch-West represented Ms. Hannah before the three-member panel in the BC Court of Appeal in the second Hannah v. John Doe case where the court dismissed ICBC’s appeal and upheld Ms. Hannah’s right to continue her lawsuit.
Note: References to successful case outcomes where DBM lawyers have acted for a client or clients are not a guarantee of future results. The outcome of any legal proceeding depends on the specific facts of the case.