Carfra Lawton LLP | Victoria BC

No power to strike pleadings in summary trials

In Walker v Doe 2014 BCSC 746 the plaintiff applied on summary trial for an order striking out and amending parts of the statement of defence. The plaintiff claimed personal injury from ICBC after colliding with a tire that had dislodged from an unidentified vehicle. In submissions the plaintiff clarified that he sought judgment on two issues in the action: ICBC’s assertion that the collision was not caused by the negligence of the unidentified driver, and ICBC’s assertion that the plaintiff suffered from pre-existing medical conditions.

The trial of the action was set to be heard by judge and jury in June 2014.

Madam Justice Fleming determined that the above issues were not suitable for summary trial in this case. Her reasons included that the plaintiff sought significant damages, that the defendant had a right to cross examine the plaintiff’s liability expert, that the defendant might be prejudiced by removing issues from the jury, and most importantly, that resolution of issues by summary trial would not necessarily significantly reduce the length of trial.

Madam Justice Fleming also found that the Supreme Court Rules did not give the court the power to strike pleadings on a summary trial application.

Case summary by: Caroline Alexander