01 Jun Shongu v. Jing: Court Awards $1 Million to Kazlaw Client
Our client, Olivier Shongu, had endured more than any one person should encounter in a lifetime—he is truly remarkable and is one of the most courageous and resilient individuals that I have ever met. Olivier is originally from the DRC and was persecuted during the civil war—he witnessed atrocities and narrowly escaped. Olivier came to Canada as a refugee, and not surprisingly, he suffered debilitating PTSD.
Within a year, Olivier was able to begin rebuilding his life. He was working full-time, he married and started a family with the hope of giving them a better future. Unfortunately, Olivier was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused chronic pain and this retriggered his PTSD. In a matter of months, Olivier lost his health, his independence, and his sense of purpose/identity.
ICBC defended the case and denied that the defendant was responsible for the accident despite the fact that she was ticketed by the police, there was an independent witness confirming that she crashed into the plaintiff, and the internal documents from ICBC found that she was 100% liable for the crash. ICBC also denied that Olivier suffered any significant injuries despite the fact that he required extensive treatment and all of the physicians agreed that the accident caused chronic pain and psychological injury.
No one wants to go to trial, however, we were happy to fight for Mr. Shongu because we felt (strongly) that ICBC’s position was unreasonable. The trial extended over three weeks and was broken up over 6 months. Justice Sewall agreed with Mr. Shongu on every issue and awarded $1,080,000.00 in damages. The Judgement is one of the highest awards in the British Columbia for a chronic pain/ psychological injury case. We are happy for Olivier and his family, we are thankful to everyone who supported Olivier, and we are proud to be involved in this important case.