Driver dinged $4,800 over spilled milk
Oct 16, 2013 / 8:30 am
Don’t tell Michelle Chapman there’s no use crying over spilled milk.
The BC motorist recently learned a fender bender she caused in June has resulted in a total write-off, all because a dairy container tipped over in the victim’s Dodge Dakota.
The milk spoiled in the sun and quickly left an unpleasant stench inside. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the vehicle was eventually deemed a “total loss.”
“Milk spilled into a vehicle on a very hot day and then it soaked into the material of the vehicle,” said ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman.
“That can be very difficult if not impossible to remove that smell.”
Since Chapman already had 11 previous at-fault claims on her driving record, she was told to choose between higher insurance premiums or a $4,800 repayment for the truck. Unable to afford either, she turned to lawyer Paul Roxburgh, who agreed to represent her pro-bono.
Roxburgh said the accident Chapman caused was minor, but the consequences she’s facing are severe.
“She’s on a fixed income. She doesn’t have a lot of money and she simply can’t afford to pay the increased premiums,” he said. “She would like to pay for the damage she caused.”
An assessment determined about $400 in damage was done to the Dodge’s exterior. As for the interior, experts at the Showroom Auto Spa told CTV News cleaning spoiled milk out of upholstery can be done for about $200 using something called an ozone treatment.
“It’s going to kill the bacteria that’s creating the smell,” said owner Farhan Bhimji. “We’ve cleaned everything from vomit to cat urine to coffee spills to paint.”
Bhimji said it’s not always possible to complete remove a smell, but he’s surprised ICBC wouldn’t at least try before writing off the vehicle.
The insurance corporation said the decision was ultimately up to the owner of the Dodge.
“If a customer’s purchased an insurance policy from us and our promise is to get that vehicle back in the condition it was in before the crash, that’s the promise we have to hold with,” Grossman said.
ICBC said an estimator advised the policy holder that the smell would be difficult to remove, and the individual opted to write off the truck instead.
Read more BC News
- Hunter found after cold BC night
- 60-year-old shot and killed
- Snowboarder dies on Grouse Mtn.
- Child abductor gets 6 years in prison
- Temperatures to drop next week
- Weekend road report
- Elderly man kills two pedestrians
- House fire kills 1 in Langley
- B.C. legislature dome needs pricy refit
- Kamloops - Fraud against seniors
- Coquitlam middle school evacuated
- Coquihalla reopened
(Click for RSS instructions.)