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Court of Appeal Reiterates Appropriate test For Causation
FARRANT V. LAKTIN, 2011 BCCA 336 (“FARRANT”), an August 2, 2011 judgment of Neilson J.A., underscores how causation is not an “either/or” proposition. The trial judge in FARRANT held that the Plaintiff’s pre-existing spinal degeneration was the cause of his ongoing pain, and that the whiplash he suffered in the accident at issue resolved within four months. These conclusions led the trial judge to award damages of $20,000; the Plaintiff appealed.
Court of Appeal Refuses to Set Aside Jury Award of $2,000
In the case of SMAGH V. BUMBRAH, 2011 BCCA 281 (“SMAGH”), the Court considered an appeal by the Plaintiff of a trial decision in which a Supreme Court jury awarded the Plaintiff $2,000 for non-pecuniary damages and nothing for past loss of income, loss of future earning capacity, or cost of future care. The collision which gave rise to the proceedings was a rear-end collision that resulted in the Plaintiff claiming neck and back injuries.
Defendant Not Awarded Costs Despite Beating Formal Offer to Settle
In the case of GATZKE V. SIDHU, 2011 BCSC 1214 (“GATZKE”), released on September 9, 2011, Saunders J. provided reasons on costs. In an earlier judgment on liability and quantum of damages (reported at 2011 BCSC 988), the Plaintiff was found to be 70% at fault and consequently received only 30% of the $31,500 awarded at trial.
However, before any award of damages was made the Defendants had made a settlement offer of $50,000 pursuant to Rule 9-1 of the SUPREME COURT CIVIL RULES, an amount much higher than the approximately $10,000 the Plaintiff ultimately received. Because the settlement offer was higher than the amount awarded, the Defendants sought an order stating that they were entitled to all of their costs incurred after the offer was made. This kind of order is permitted by Rule 9-1(5).
Police Officer Not Contributorily Negligent For Riding Motorcycle in Median
In the case of X V. Y, 2011 BCSC 944 (“X. V. Y.”), the Court determined the appropriate apportionment of liability for a serious collision that arose out of unique factual circumstances. The Plaintiff, Mr. X., was an R.C.M.P. officer who was responding to an urgent emergency situation after the collapse of an overpass on the Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam. The Plaintiff was riding a police motorcycle with lights and sirens activated when he was struck by the Defendant, Mr. Y., who was executing a U-turn to avoid backed-up traffic near the collapsed overpass.
The evidence of the case critically disclosed that the Plaintiff had activated his emergency lights and sirens and repeatedly sounded his air horn when responding to an active “Code 3” call. Code 3 calls require responding officers to activate their lights and sirens and proceed to the scene of the emergency at a safe and reasonable speed.
Court Finds Case Planning Conference Recordings Not Presumptively Available
In the case of PARTI V. POKORNY, 2011 BCSC 955 (“PARTI”), the Court considered whether it was appropriate to grant the Defendant an order allowing access to the recording of a case planning conference (“CPC”). The Defendant’s application was made under Rule 5-2(7) of the SUPREME COURT CIVIL RULES, which states that “proceedings at a case planning conference must be recorded, but no part of that recording may be made available to or used by any person without court order”. The Defendant in PARTI was seeking a court order which would allow a court reporter to access this recording and make a transcript based on its contents.
In PARTI, the Plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident for which the Defendant had admitted liability. Defence counsel argued “on behalf of the defendant, and in reality ICBC” (at para. 5), that the Court’s analysis should begin with the presumption that CPC transcripts should be available for public access in conformity with the “open court principle”, unless a compelling reason for not granting access under Rule 5-2(7) exists.