03/02/2016 19:39 EST | Updated 03/03/2017 00:12 EST

Judge finds ICBC liable for malicious prosecution, awards woman nearly $400,000

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia judge has awarded a woman who "experienced the wrath" of the province's insurance corporation nearly $400,000.

Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin says in a written decision that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and one of its investigators are liable for malicious prosecution, and that their conduct in the case was high-handed and reprehensible.

Danica Arsenovski and her husband had recently come to Canada as refugees when they were struck by a car and injured while crossing an intersection in Burnaby in January 2000.

Arsenovski gave a statement to ICBC through a translator because she does not speak much English, and she was later charged with making a false statement about the crash.

The charge was eventually stayed, and Griffin says in her decision that John Gould, the ICBC investigator in the case, wrote a misleading report to Crown counsel recommending the charge, intending to dissuade civil claims against the insurance agency.

The judge says Gould "cherry-picked" evidence for the report, misstated what Arsenovski said in her statement, and encouraged other agencies, such as the health and immigration ministries, to take action against her.



The Canadian Press