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The case of ICBC v. Panag should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to provide false statements to ICBC
In May 2006, a Surrey woman, Mrs. Panag, was involved in a collision at an intersection. She told ICBC she had the right of way, and that she did not illegally go through a stop sign. She told ICBC that the other driver she hit had gone through a red light. She provided ICBC with the name of a witness, one Mr. Grewal. This alleged witness talked to ICBC and supported Mrs. Panag’s version of events. Mrs. Panag claimed she was injured and she advanced an ICBC claim.
ICBC investigated the matter. They discovered that the witness, Mr. Grewal, was a friend of Mrs. Panag and her husband. Upon further inquiries, Mr. Grewal admitted that he did not witness the accident. He admitted that he made up the story about how the accident happened in order to help Ms. Panag with her insurance claim.
Another independent witness gave evidence that Mrs. Panag was responsible for the accident. This independent witness indicated that Mrs. Panag had illegally gone through a stop sign.
The Court determined that Mrs. Panag was 100% responsible for the accident. The judge stated that Ms. Panag had given ICBC a false statement about how the accident happened. The judge also found that Mrs. Panag and her husband had conspired with their friend Mr. Grewal to give a false statement to ICBC. The Court ordered Mrs. Panag and her husband to pay $200,000 to ICBC. This amount was meant to compensate ICBC for costs it had paid out on the claim, and to punish the Grewals for committing fraud.
The moral of this story is as follows: if you have been involved in an accident, always be honest and tell the truth.
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