UPDATE: ICBC denies that it won’t help badly-injured couple

The insurance company takes strong exception to remarks by lawyer Wes Mussio

ICBC is vigorously denying claims by a lawyer that it is unwilling to help a couple badly hurt in a crash on Saturday morning.

The Crown corporation says lawyer Wes Mussio is incorrect in stating that ICBC is refusing to pay up-front for any of the medical bills incurred by Brandon Gullickson and Cassy Dryden, and questions why a halo brace needed for Dryden’s broken neck would require any payment, as that would be part of medical treatment.

Spokesman Adam Grossman said ICBC would “be taking stern (legal) action against him (Mussio) for his comments” to The Times.

Grossman said that ICBC first heard about the 2 a.m. Saturday crash at Fraser Highway and 176 Street in Surrey on Monday, when a claim was made. The claimant, whose identity he is unsure of, stated that Gullickson was driving his car, hit a parked car and pushed it into another. This is at odds with what The Times was told, that Gullickson was actually trying to jump start a stalled vehicle, when his parked vehicle was hit from behind.

Grossman said ICBC knew little else about the crash until the initial Times story appeared online late Tuesday. Mussio’s comments, made to The Times Wednesday morning, are untrue because ICBC has not refused to pay for anything. Mussio hasn’t even talked to ICBC, Grossman said.

The insurance company has placed two calls to the lawyer’s office, which had not been returned as of late Wednesday afternoon. Its rehab co-ordinator has also asked for, but not yet not received, information from Royal Columbian Hospital, where the two are recuperating.

“The injuries they (Gullickson and Mussio) suffered are incredibly tragic,” Grossman said.

He added that if Gullickson was indeed helping to jump-start a car, he would not be an at-fault driver, and would be considered to have been struck by the car as a pedestrian.