16 May Changing the Venue of Your Trial

A Plaintiff usually sets the trial in the city where he or she resides.  However, on occasion trials are set in another venue.  If that other venue is not convenient to the Defendant, they might apply to the Court to change it.  In Gaebel v. Lipka, 2015 BCSC 351, the Plaintiff lived in Powell River but he set his trial in Vancouver.  The Defendant applied to change the venue of the trial to Powell River.

Before the motor vehicle accident, the Plaintiff was a deckhand/boom man who worked on a small tugboat.  His job was to arrange floating logs into a form, either manually or using the boat.  He did this by getting off the boat, walking on a floating log and creating bundles of floating logs by securing them with heavy chains so the tugboat could drag the form and the logs.  He seriously injured his shoulder in the accident and was unable to return to work.

The motor vehicle accident occurred in Powell River.  The Plaintiff and both Defendants resided in Powell River. However, there were other witnesses that resided in Nanaimo, Campbell River and Langley.  In addition, the majority of the experts, if not all of them, were from Vancouver.

In order to decide if the trial should be moved, the Court looked at (a) the interests of justice and (b) the preponderance of convenience.

The Plaintiff argued that the cost of having all the experts travel to Powell River to give evidence, assuming they were willing or available to do so, was considerably greater than the cost of having the lay witnesses travel to Vancouver.  The Court agreed with the Plaintiff and the Defendant’s application to move the trial to Powell River was dismissed.




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