16 Mar The Importance of Examination for Discovery Testimony at Trial

Pursuing a personal injury claim against ICBC involves many steps.  One of the most important steps in this process is the Examination for Discovery, which takes place before the trial.

An Examination for Discovery is an opportunity for the Defense lawyer to ask the Plaintiff questions.  These questions are designed to assess the impact of the collision on the Plaintiff’s life.  Typical questions relate to how the accident has affected the Plaintiff’s medical health, employment status, recreational activities and household activities.  The Plaintiff provides this evidence under oath.  The Examination for Discovery normally takes place in a court reporter’s office or in the boardroom of a law firm.  A court reporter records the proceeding and the lawyers obtain a transcript of this.  This transcript is very important because if the case proceeds to trial the Defense lawyer can use the transcript as evidence or to cross-examine the Plaintiff.

At the trial of Pavan v. Guolo, 2016 BCSC 324, the Plaintiff and Defendant presented different arguments regarding the duration of the Plaintiff’s injuries.  The Plaintiff alleged more serious and longer lasting injuries than the Defendant did.  The Defense lawyer referred to the Plaintiff’s Examination for Discovery to support their position.  At the Examination for Discovery, the Plaintiff testified to less serious injuries of a shorter duration.

The Court accepted the defense position.  While the Court noted other difficulties in the Plaintiff’s evidence, the Examination for Discovery evidence factored into the Court’s analysis.  The Court rejected the Plaintiff’s evidence to the extent he “attempted to retreat from statements made on his discovery”.  The Court found the Plaintiff’s attempts to qualify his previous answers unconvincing.

At Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota, we understand the importance of the Examination for Discovery.  We will meet with you beforehand to help you prepare for this important litigation step.