Plaintiff’s Claim Struck For Failure to Prove Liability of Unidentified Driver

Man being hit by car and had his claim against an unidentified driver struck down

On November 9, 2011, the Honourable Mr. Justice Williams of the British Columbia Supreme Court delivered his judgment in PAGUIO V. FRASER, 2011 BCSC 1519.

The trial was a result of an action filed by Cesar Paguio, to establish liability for the serious head injury he suffered in an auto accident on February 28, 2010. At the time of the accident, Mr. Paguio was driving his motor scooter in the right hand lane along Knight Street, in Richmond. He suddenly crossed into the left lane occupied by a Volkswagen, operated by Mr. Fraser, striking Fraser’s vehicle in the area of the right front wheel well and tire.

Mr. Paguio originally filed suit naming the owner and driver of the Volkswagen as defendants but discontinued the proceedings. He then claimed that an unknown driver of an unidentified vehicle was the cause of the accident, and asked the court to find the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia liable. According to Mr. Paguio, an unidentified vehicle entered the lane he was traveling in from the right, and forced him into the lane occupied by the Fraser’s Volkswagen, causing a collision.

Mr. Justice Williams heard testimony from four witnesses who were at the scene, including Mr. Paguio and Mr. Fraser. The other two witnesses were traveling in the same direction, behind the Paguio and Fraser vehicles. They offered conflicting views on what lanes the scooter and Volkswagen were in, and whether there was, in fact, a third vehicle involved in the accident.

 

For his claim to succeed, Mr. Paguio would have to prove that an unidentified vehicle existed and that it caused the collision. After examining the facts presented, and weighing the inconsistencies in testimony, Mr. Justice Williams found that the burden of proof had not been satisfied by Mr. Paguio’s circumstantial evidence, and his claim was dismissed.

 

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