Home Featured B.C. trucking company’s bid to recover $5,000 in damages to dump truck tossed by small-claims court

B.C. trucking company’s bid to recover $5,000 in damages to dump truck tossed by small-claims court

by HR Law Canada

A B.C. trucking company has lost its bid in small claims court to recover nearly $5,000 from a worker it says damaged a vehicle.

Marigold Trucking sued Gurpreet Singh Gill after it said he damaged one of its dump trucks. It claimed $4,885 in compensation.

Gill, in his submission, said Marigold owed him wages — but provided no details other than referring to a complaint to “the labour court.” There was no counterclaim filed, and the court dismissed this, focusing solely on the company’s claim for damage to the truck.

Truck ordered out of service

Marigold said Gill drove the truck from the end of March 2021 to the third week of May 2021. It submitted a May 21, 2021 “Vehicle Inspection Report/Notice and Order” that noted the 2020 Peterbilt dump truck was ordered out-of-service because the driver was impaired and because the truck’s “axle 1 right tire has cords exposed in tread.”

Gill did not dispute the 24-hour driving prohibition, so the court accepted it.

Marigold said Gill broke the truck’s “reach” — which it discovered after police ticketed Gill and the truck was impounded. There was nothing describing what “reach” meant, the court said, but the Order did refer to a “drawbar previously bent and repaired… still has bend.”

Gill denied breaking the “reach” and said he told Marigold before the impoundment that the “reach” was already broken. (Marigold chose not to provide any final reply submissions, the court noted.)

Difficulties with the case

The Civil Resolution Tribunal of B.C. had a number of issues with Marigold. First, it submitted no evidence that the truck’s “reach” was in fact damaged or that Gill was the one who damaged it.

There was no witness statements, no evidence as to when he used the truck and if or when others drove it. There was no mechanical report nor photos showing the alleged damage.

One photo was submitted of the back of the truck. “However, I cannot discern anything from this photo,” the court said.

Second, the order impounded the dump truck for two reasons: Gill’s 24-hour driving prohibition and the exposed tire treads. There was no evidence, or argument made, that Gill damaged the treads.

“In other words, the evidence before me indicates the truck would have been impounded despite (Gill’s) impairment, for the exposed tire treads,” it said.

Lastly, while Marigold claimed $4,885 in damages it submitted nothing to back up this calculation, such as a repair quote or invoice.

“There are no photos of the alleged damage,” the court said. “Parties are told during the CRT process to submit all relevant evidence. There is no explanation here for the absence of the necessary evidence required to prove the applicant’s claim.”

The case was dismissed.

For more information, see Marigold Trucking Ltd. v. Gill, 2022 BCCRT 1320 (CanLII)

You may also like

About Us

HR Law Canada is dedicated to covering labour and employment news for lawyers, HR professionals and employers. Published by North Wall Media.