Mr. Dhaliwal was 24 years old when he went to trial. He had posted on Facebook photos & opinions about his job & recreational activities & his thoughts on the police. He claimed that he continued to suffer from neck, shoulder & back pain & that his pain impaired his ability to work.
ICBC’s lawyer used his postings to argue at trial that:
- he was not believable,
- he no longer experienced pain &
- the court should reject his claims that he intended to become a police officer & that he can no longer do this.
Mr. D’s Facebook photos & postings showed that he:
- bought a motorcycle & rode around the Lower Mainland three months before his trial,
- went white-water rafting & hiking,
- took trips to Winnipeg, India & London;
- regularly lifted weights & ran on a treadmill at the gym;
- caused damage at work to a trailer & the roof of a building & put other employees at risk and
- wrote Facebook postings critical of the police.
Mr. Justice Butler concluded on October 31, 2016 that Mr. D’s:
- pain in his neck, shoulder & back were not ongoing,
- pain was significantly improved by 2 years after his mva,
- ability to work & carry on with his daily activities were no long affected by his symptoms,
- present difficulties at work were because he caused damage to company property, not because of his injuries &
- claim that he lost the chance to become a police officer fails because:
- his education & experience show that he would not have become one absent his mva &
- he wrote Facebook posts critical of the police.
As a result, the judge awarded him nothing for future loss of capacity.
The takeaway for ICBC claimants is they should:
- be very careful about Facebook posts &
- consider closing all their social media accounts
until their claim has been resolved.
Social media posts & photos are:
- usually very optimistic & positive & therefore
- an easy way for ICBC’s lawyers to argue that a claimant:
- has enjoyed a full social, recreational and work life &
- does not experience any significant continuing problems.