Lawsuit of the week: Man whose BMW was stolen claims ICBC victimized and slandered him

Crown corporation pursues “systematic corporate policy” of denying vehicle theft claims, plaintiff says

Rob Kruyt/BIV files

A man who claims his luxury BMW was stolen and later recovered with “extensive damage” is suing the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC) and an adjuster for slander and breach of contract, alleging his theft claim was denied as part of the Crown corporation’s “systematic corporate policy” of wrongfully delaying, denying, or minimizing payments for vehicle theft claims.

Jordan Ching filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on April 21, naming ICBC and adjuster Darryl Mathieson as defendants. Ching claims his 2012 BMW X5 M Sport was stolen from 3845 William Street in Burnaby, which houses a brewery, in mid-January 2021. He reported the theft to the RCMP and the insurance corporation, but when ICBC contacted him shortly after the alleged theft, the adjuster “made accusations that the Plaintiff was operating the Vehicle while intoxicated without any evidentiary basis.” According to the lawsuit, the adjuster had the vehicle towed to a BMW dealership on Boundary Road and allegedly told dealership staff that Ching “had been drinking and driving.”

Ching denies that he was drinking and driving.

“ICBC has an active, considered, systematic corporate policy to reward its employees, agents, servants, contractors and counsel for assisting it wrongfully to delay, deny, defeat, frustrate or minimize payments of first-party theft and damage claims,” Ching’s lawsuit states. “ICBC’s policy to deny first-party theft and damage claims was at all relevant times motivated by financial gain, whereby ICBC sought to sell coverage for such claims with no intention of honouring such claims.” Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that ICBC has a “quota system” for approving theft and damage claims, rather than judging them on “the merits of the individual claim.” Ching claims ICBC’s policy “victimized” him for profit through the quota system and caused him mental and physical distress and financial losses, while exposing him to “ridicule, hatred or contempt from members of the public.”  Ching seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract and defamation for the alleged “slanderous comments” made to dealership staff about drinking and driving.

The lawsuit’s allegations have not been tested or proven in court, and the defendants had not responded to the claim by press time.