ICBC Law

BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Erik MagrakenThis Blog is authored by British Columbia ICBC injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken. Erik is a partner with the British Columbia personal injury law-firm MacIsaac & Company. He restricts his practice exclusively to plaintiff-only personal injury claims with a particular emphasis on ICBC injury claims involving orthopaedic injuries and complex soft tissue injuries. Please visit often for the latest developments in matters concerning BC personal injury claims and ICBC claims

Erik Magraken does not work for and is not affiliated in any way with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Please note that this blog is for information only and is not claim-specific legal advice.  Erik can only provide legal advice to clients. Please click here to arrange a free consultation.

Archive for August, 2012

TMC Update – Practice Direction 36 Repealed and Replaced

August 31st, 2012

Earlier this week I wrote about Practice Direction 36 allowing parties to opt out of Trial Management Conferences in certain circumstances.  This has now been repealed and replaced with Practice Direction 37 which allows for the same result but has created timelines into when such applications can be brought.


"What's This Lawsuit All About?" Examination For Discovery Caselaw Update

August 31st, 2012

In my ongoing efforts to archive BC caselaw addressing examinations for discovery, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC supreme Court, Prince George Registry, discussing the scope of permissible questions.

In this week’s case (Manojlovic v. Currie) the parties were involved in litigation with respect to a purchase and sale agreement relating to lakeshore property.   In the course of the lawsuit the Defendant was examined for discovery during which time he was asked to “tell me in your own words what this lawsuit is all about“.

The Defendant objected arguing this question was inappropriate.  Mr. Justice Tindale disagreed and concluded this question was fair game.  In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:

13] The tone of the examination for discovery was set by Mr. Hall, counsel for the defendants William Richard Currie and Patsy Arlene Currie, at the beginning of the examination.  Mr. Dungate asked the defendant William Richard Currie the following:

9 Q      One of the things I want to accomplish today, Dr. Currie, is I’d like to better understand this lawsuit from your perspective and your wife’s, so perhaps you can tell me in your own words what the lawsuit is about.

Mr. Hall:           Stop. That’s not the process, Mr. Dungate. You ask questions; he answers them.

10 Q    Mr. Dungate: This is my examination for discovery. I’m asking the questions. I just asked Dr. Currie to explain to me what the lawsuit is about. So, what’s the lawsuit about, Dr. Currie?

[14] The plaintiff wishes to ask questions relating to the pleadings in these proceedings. These types of questions were objected to during the examination for discovery. However, Mr. Wright, who was Mr. Hall’s agent for this application, is not opposed to these types of questions but rather argues that they should not relate to questions of law, or questions that had already been asked and answered at examination for discovery.

[15] In my view, the questions asked by Mr. Dungate relating to the pleadings were appropriate. I also agree with Mr. Wright that these types of questions should not relate to questions of law…

[21] An examination for discovery is similar to cross-examination at trial. The plaintiff, in this case, should have been given a wide latitude to explore the relevant issues in the time allotted by the Rules. The Plaintiff was not able to do this on many of the issues that he was trying to explore.

[22] I order that the defendant William Richard Currie shall attend and submit to a further examination for discovery which will have a maximum duration of four hours. This examination for discovery shall be set in consultation with counsel for the plaintiff and counsel for the defendant William Richard Currie.

[23] I order that the plaintiff will be at liberty to ask questions relating to the “pleadings” and the letter marked as “Exhibit 29” at the examination for discovery held on March 9, 2012.


Indivisible Injury Analysis Applicable For Both Causation and Quantum of Damages

August 30th, 2012

The BC Court of Appeal released reasons for judgement this week further addressing the law of indivisible injuries.

In this week’s case (Moore v. Kyba) the Plaintiff was member of the Canadian Navy and suffered an interscapular injury in a 2007 motor vehicle collision.   A year before this he injured his right shoulder in a shipboard fall and lastly suffered a bicep tear during a fall in 2008.

He sued for damages claiming the collision injury permanently disabled him from his naval career.  ICBC argued that no injury was caused and that this man’s disability was related to the falls.  The Jury accepted the Plaintiff’s claims and awarded $823,962 in damages for loss of earning capacity.  ICBC appealed arguing the trial judge gave the Jury improper instructions addressing indivisible injuries.  The Appeal was dismissed with the Court providing the following summary of the law:

[32] Much judicial ink has been spilled concerning the characterization of multiple injuries as divisible or indivisible, and the impact of that characterization on the determination of causation and assessment of damages in a negligence case.

[33] The legal principles underlying these concepts are clear, but explaining them to a jury “is no easy task” (see Laidlaw v. Couturier, 2010 BCCA 59 at para. 40).  Nor is their application in varying particular factual contexts always straightforward.

[34] The relevant principles were clearly set out in Athey v. Leonati, [1996] 3 S.C.R. 458.  Their elaboration in Blackwater v. Plint, 2005 SCC 58, [2005] 3 S.C.R. 3, and by this Court in T.W.N.A. v. Canada (Ministry of Indian Affairs), 2003 BCCA 670 at paras. 22-37, B.P.B. v. M.M.B., 2009 BCCA 365, Bradley v. Groves, 2010 BCCA 361 and Laidlaw are also helpful.

[35] The basic principles at play in this analysis are that a “defendant is not liable for injuries which were not caused by his or her negligence” (Athey at para. 24), and “the defendant need not put the plaintiff in a position better than his or her original position” (Athey at para. 35).  These two principles, which deal with the concepts of causation and assessment of damages, were distinguished in Blackwater (at para. 78):

It is important to distinguish between causation as the source of the loss and the rules of damage assessment in tort. The rules of causation consider generally whether “but for” the defendant’s acts, the plaintiff’s damages would have been incurred on a balance of probabilities. Even though there may be several tortious and non-tortious causes of injury, so long as the defendant’s act is a cause of the plaintiff’s damage, the defendant is fully liable for that damage. The rules of damages then consider what the original position of the plaintiff would have been. The governing principle is that the defendant need not put the plaintiff in a better position than his original position and should not compensate the plaintiff for any damages he would have suffered anyway: Athey.

[36] Thus, whether a defendant is liable to a plaintiff for an injury is a matter of causation; the amount of compensation the defendant must pay is a matter of assessment of damages.

[37] The concepts of divisible and indivisible injury are relevant at both stages of the analysis.  At the stage of determining causation, the characterization of the plaintiff’s injury or injuries as divisible or indivisible is relevant in determining what the defendant is liable for.  As explained in Athey (at paras. 24-25):

The respondents submitted that apportionment is permitted where the injuries caused by two defendants are divisible (for example, one injuring the plaintiff’s foot and the other the plaintiff’s arm): Fleming, supra, at p. 201. Separation of distinct and divisible injuries is not truly apportionment; it is simply making each defendant liable only for the injury he or she has caused, according to the usual rule. The respondents are correct that separation is also permitted where some of the injuries have tortious causes and some of the injuries have non-tortious causes: Fleming, supra, at p. 202.  Again, such cases merely recognize that the defendant is not liable for injuries which were not caused by his or her negligence.

In the present case, there is a single indivisible injury, the disc herniation, so division is neither possible nor appropriate. The disc herniation and its consequences are one injury, and any defendant found to have negligently caused or contributed to the injury will be fully liable for it.

[Emphasis added.]

[38] In this case, in determining causation, the jury had to determine whether the appellant caused injury to the respondent, and if so, whether the rotator cuff injury, the interscapular pain, and the bicep tear were divisible injuries or an indivisible injury.  If they were divisible, the appellant could only be found to be liable for the interscapular pain caused by the motor vehicle accident.  If they were indivisible, the appellant would be liable for that indivisible injury. ..

[41] At the stage of assessment of damages, the question is what compensation the plaintiff is entitled to receive from the defendant.

[42] If the injury is divisible, then the plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for the injury caused by the defendant.  In this case, if the interscapular pain was a divisible injury, then the respondent was entitled to compensation for his loss flowing from that injury.

[43] If the injury is indivisible, then the plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for the loss flowing from the indivisible injury.  However, if the plaintiff had a pre-existing condition and there was a measurable risk that that condition would have resulted in a loss anyway, then that pre-existing risk of loss is taken into account in assessing the damages flowing from the defendant’s negligence.  This principle is called the “crumbling skull” rule.  As explained in Athey (at para. 35):  “This is consistent with the general rule that the plaintiff must be returned to the position he would have been in, with all of its attendant risks and shortcomings, and not a better position.”

[44] For a recent example of a reduction in damages to reflect a pre-existing condition, see Bouchard v. Brown Bros. Motor Lease Canada Ltd., 2012 BCCA 331.

At the conclusion of the reasons the Court of Appeal attached the trial judge’s jury charge which is worth reviewing.  For access to my archived posts addressing indivisible injuries you can click here.


$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Knee Injury With Potential CRPS

August 29th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Williams Lake Registry, assessing damages for a chronic knee injury.

In this week’s case (Anderson v. Shepherd) the Plaintiff suffered a “major injury” to his knee when he was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle crushing his knee “between the car door and the frame of the vehicle“.  Fault was admitted focusing the trial on damages.

The Plaintiff’s knee injury required surgical intervention and resulted in chronic pain.  He was diagnosed with potential Complex Regional Pain Syndrome because of his knee trauma.  His pain symptoms were expected to linger indefinitely.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Mr. Justice Davies provided the following reasons:

[58] Although the medical opinions differ with respect to whether Mr. Anderson may suffer from complex regional pain syndrome because of the injuries to his knee, and also whether patellar maltracking was caused by or made symptomatic by the collision, I am satisfied by the totality of the evidence that the knee pain Mr. Anderson has suffered and continues to suffer, as well as the mobility issues he has experienced and continues to experience, are genuine and were all caused by the collision.

[59] I am also satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the negative effects upon Mr. Anderson’s life arising from the left knee injury were caused by the collision and the defendant’s negligence, and would not have occurred but for that negligence…

[75] My consideration of the totality of the evidence in this case leads me to conclude that:

1) Mr. Anderson will have ongoing symptoms with his knee indefinitely which will remain relatively constant at their present level with a tendency to improve over time, rather than worsen.

2) Mr. Anderson is likely to have difficulties with activities requiring a great deal of knee flexion such as kneeling, squatting, climbing stairs and walking up hills.

3) No further surgical intervention will assist in alleviating Mr. Anderson’s existing knee symptoms.

4) Mr. Anderson will not likely develop accelerated osteoarthritis because of the injury to his knee.

5) Mr. Anderson is not disabled from work as a driver if he obtains a Class 1 licence, but will be required to take breaks to rest his knee if he drives for long periods of time.

6) The injury to his left knee will likely require Mr. Anderson to take more pain medication to relieve his pain than he was taking to alleviate the chronic pain associated with his low back pain caused by the 2004 motor vehicle accident.

84] Mr. Anderson has suffered a serious and debilitating left knee injury. It was acutely debilitating for approximately six weeks when he could do almost nothing other than rest. While his condition improved thereafter, that improvement was not sufficient to allow him to resume all of his previous activities either at home or outside the home, his home life and relationships with his wife and children suffered badly, and he was unable to work because of his injuries.

[85] Surgery on his knee in March 2010, more than a year after he was injured, helped to alleviate his difficulties to the extent that by his own assessment his improvement has now approached 70%. The evidence establishes that it is likely that his symptoms have stabilized at that level and are not likely to worsen over time.

[86] Even at their present recovery level, Mr. Anderson’s injuries require him to endure pain that must be treated with increased levels of medication beyond that which previously alleviated his chronic low back pain that arose from the 2004 motor vehicle accident. His ability to enjoy life because of his compromised physical abilities is seriously diminished. He has now suffered and endured his losses for more than three years. As a young man who is now only 30, Mr. Anderson will suffer them for most of his adult life.

[87] After considering the totality of the evidence and the principles enunciated in Stapley, and the authorities to which I was referred by both counsel, I have determined that an award of $85,000 is necessary to appropriately compensate Mr. Anderson for his non-pecuniary losses.


Practice Direction 36 – Trial Management Conferences Allowed to Be Waived by Consent

August 28th, 2012

(UPDATE - August 31, 2012PD 36 has been repealed and replaced with PD 37)

Addressing concerns that mandatory Trial Management Conferences add unnecessary time and expense to litigation, Practice Direction 36 comes into force on September 4 which will allow parties to BC Supreme Court Civil and Family matters to apply to waive TMC’s.

The waiver of TMC’s is limited to Vancouver Registry trials 9 days or less in duration with no self-represented litigants involved.  Hopefully this directive will be expanded Province wide.


$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Triggering of Pain in Pre-Existing Degeneration

August 28th, 2012

As previously discussed, a common pattern following a motor vehicle collision is the onset of pain in a pre-existing but otherwise asymptomatic degenerative condition.  Reasons for judgement were released recently by the BC Supreme Court, Kelowna Registry, addressing such an injury.

In the recent case (Culos v. Chretien) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2006 pedestrian collision.  The Defendant motorist was found fully at fault.  The collision caused an aggravation of pre-existing low back pain and further caused chronic neck pain problems.  The latter problems were found to be due to pre-existing degeneration which became symptomatic as a result of the impact.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Rogers provided the following reasons:

[51] I find that the plaintiff accurately described his injuries and the symptoms he experienced after the accident. The fact that his left hip was sore when he went to see his physician several days after the accident and that his left thigh just above the knee was not bruised tell me that the defendant’s car hit him on his left hip, not his left thigh. I find that the impact gave the plaintiff a severe body-wide jolt. The impact caused the pre-existing but asymptomatic degenerative disease in his neck to become symptomatic. Absent the accident, the plaintiff may have lived out his entire life without any neck symptoms. The accident caused his neck to be painful, and the pain has persisted to this day. I accept Dr. Vallentyne’s opinion that the plaintiff’s neck symptoms are permanent.

[52] I find that the plaintiff’s memory of his pre-accident back function is faulty. The symptoms of pain that he felt in his lower back in the approximately one year before the accident must have been significant. I find that is so because the plaintiff is clearly not one to go running for medical treatment for minor or transitory complaints – the fact that he held off for five days after the accident before seeking medical help supports that proposition. For that reason, I accept Dr. Vallentyne’s opinion that even if the accident had not happened the plaintiff’s periodically symptomatic low back pain and his pre-existing degenerative disease in that region would have, as Dr. Vallentyne said, required him to “minimize heavy lifting/carrying as well as repetitive bending/twisting”. That said, I find that the accident accelerated and worsened the plaintiff’s low back symptoms; “accelerated” in the sense of causing the pain to be constant rather than periodic, and “worsened” in the sense that the low back pain prevented the plaintiff from participating in his usual activities to a much greater degree than before.

[53] I cannot accept Dr. Grypma’s opinion that the plaintiff’s present symptoms are not related to or caused by the accident. I find that the flaw in Dr. Grypma’s opinion is his dismissal without discussion of the indisputable temporal connection between the onset of the plaintiff’s neck and back symptoms immediately after the accident and his continuing symptoms throughout of pain in exactly those same regions. The link is, of course, the fact that those symptoms have persisted from then until now. The physicians agree that the accident did not accelerate the degeneration of the plaintiff’s neck and back – it follows that the plaintiff’s pains are not a result of increased degeneration. If the symptoms occurred after the accident, it is reasonable to conclude that they were caused by the accident, and the doctors agree on that as well. What Dr. Grypma does not explain is how it is that the plaintiff’s symptoms transitioned from pains caused by the accident to pains caused by his degenerative disease, and how it is that even without the accident, the plaintiff would nevertheless now be suffering from those symptoms. I find that there is a causal link between the accident, the onset of the plaintiff’s neck pain and the worsening of his low back symptoms, and the persistence of those symptoms through to the present day.

[54] Currently the plaintiff’s neck and back symptoms are present on a daily basis. They flare up when the plaintiff does anything strenuous. The symptoms aggravate, frustrate and tire the plaintiff out. They have reduced his enjoyment of recreational activities. The symptoms are a permanent feature of the plaintiff’s life. After discounting the plaintiff’s claim to account for the fact that absent the accident his lower back would have troubled the plaintiff periodically, I find that the proper award for non-pecuniary damages in this case is $75,000.


Welcome CFAX Listeners – Dog Bite Injury Law in BC

August 27th, 2012

Earlier today I had the pleasure of being interviewed by CFAX Radio with respect to lawsuits for compensation as a result of Dog Bite injuries in British Columbia.

For those of you looking for more on this area of law you can click here to read a 2004 decision which provides the following useful overview of the legal principles of scienter and negligence which were discussed in today’s interview:

[] The common law doctrine of scienter differs from negligence in that if the conditions for scienter are found, the liability is absolute and does not depend upon proof of negligence.  The requirements for establishing scienter were described by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Janota-Bzowska v. Lewis[1997] B.C.J. No. 2053.  In that case the Court observed at para. 9 that the owner of a dog can be found liable for an attack in two ways:

First, the owner may be held liable under the doctrine of scienter and second, the owner may be held liable for negligence.  It is important to keep the two separate as they often become intertwined.  They are, however, not the same.

The Court went on at para. 20 to describe the doctrine of scienter in this way:

The law with respect to the doctrine of scienter is relatively clear.  The owner of a dog which bites another will not be liable simply for being the owner.  Liability will only attach under the doctrine if the three conditions set forth in the Neville decision have been satisfied.  In other words, the plaintiff (not the defendant) must establish:

i)   that the defendant was the owner of the dog;

ii)  that the dog had manifested a propensity to cause the type of harm occasioned; and

iii) that the owner knew of that propensity.

Some provinces now have legislation which modifies the common law of scienter but, since the repeal of the Animals Act in 1981, British Columbia does not and the common law applies untrammelled by statutory enactment.

[] At para. 23 of the judgment, the Court of Appeal described the requirements for negligence in the context of a dog attack in this way:

To succeed in an action based on negligence against Holtzman, the plaintiff must prove, on a balance of probabilities that:

(a)  Holtzman knew, or ought to have known, that Boomer was likely to create a risk of injury to third persons, including the plaintiff; and

(b)  Holtzman failed to take reasonable care to prevent such injury.  …

[] It can be seen that there are two important differences between liability based on scienter and liability based on negligence.  If the requirements of scienter are established, liability is absolute, and the plaintiff is not required to show breach of a standard of care.  On the other hand, to establish scienter, the plaintiff must show both that the dog manifested a propensity to cause the type of harm which occurred and also that the owner knew of that propensity.  It thus appears that for scienter, the mental element is based on a subjective test:  the plaintiff must establish that the defendant actually knew of the dog’s propensity to cause the relevant type of harm.  This is in contrast to liability based on negligence, where an objective test applies.  That is, for negligence it is sufficient if the defendant knew or ought to have known that the dog was likely to create a risk of injury to third persons, and failed to take reasonable care to prevent the injuries.


$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Back Soft Tissue Injury

August 27th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released last month by the BC Supreme Court, Kamloops Registry, assessing damages for a chronic soft tissue injury following a collision.

In the recent case (Cartwright v. Cartwright) the 15 year old plaintiff was injured as a passenger in a single vehicle collision.  The driver admitted liability.  The Plaintiff suffered a soft tissue injury to her back which resulted in chronic symptoms.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Madam Justice Fisher provided the following reasons:

[20] There is no question that Ms. Cartwright suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back in the motor vehicle accident on June 17, 2007, which resulted in ongoing pain symptoms. She had pain immediately following the accident and has continued to have pain throughout her back since that time. The issue is the extent to which this ongoing pain has affected and will continue to affect her life…

[22] I found Ms. Cartwright to be a credible witness but a poor historian about the nature and intensity of her pain symptoms and how they affected her life and her work. I agree with the defendant that she provided little detail about her symptoms. At the time of the accident, she said that her neck and shoulders were “sore” and her back was “just stiff”. She said it was painful working in that she had to rely on others to do things like move tables and chairs and carry pallets of cutlery. Other than that, she described things as being “difficult” or “painful”, and said that she was not able to work because of “back pain.”  Surprisingly, she said nothing about the effect of her pregnancy on her back pain. She said that she can get headaches two to three times a week and migraines “at least a couple a month”, but said nothing about how intense they are or how they affect her. She said that she went to a counsellor “a few times for anxiety about the accident” and she still has anxiety “towards vehicles” without describing in any way the anxiety and how it affects her.

[23] This lack of any detail makes it difficult to assess the nature and severity of Ms. Cartwright’s ongoing pain. However, I am satisfied that her evidence, along with the medical evidence, establishes that she suffered strain to the muscles and ligaments of the thoracic and lumbar regions and strain to the muscles of the cervical region as a result of the accident. I accept Dr. Farren’s description of Ms. Cartwright’s back pain as “moderate in severity and chronic in nature”. There is no evidence about the severity and nature of her headaches or the nature and extent of the anxiety she experienced as a result of the accident.

[24] These injuries have caused her ongoing and chronic symptoms of myofascial back pain, some tension headaches and a modest exacerbation of a pre-existing tendency towards migraines. The chronic back pain will likely continue but there is a substantial possibility that it will diminish with proper rehabilitation that includes a regular exercise program…

[48] Ms. Cartwright has been moderately affected by her chronic back pain and will continue to be affected by it in the future, but there is a substantial possibility that the pain will diminish and be quite manageable with proper rehabilitation and regular exercise. Given the evidence and relevant factors in this case, it is my view that a fair award of non-pecuniary damages is $60,000.


$40,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Patellofemoral Knee Pain

August 24th, 2012

Adding to this site’s archived posts addressing damages for knee injuries, reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for Patellofemoral pain.

In the recent case (Peragine v. Serena) the plaintiff was involved in a 2009 intersection collision.  The Defendant left a stop sign and proceeded into the Plaintiff’s lane of travel resulting in the collision. Although the Defendant disputed fault she was found fully liable for the crash.

The plaintiff suffered a knee injury which required surgery.  She remained symptomatic at the time of trial and was expected to have symptoms for some time into the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $40,000 Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following reasons:

[70] Dr. Kokan concluded that Michelle’s pain in her left knee was and is caused by the medial synovial plica (which was removed during the surgery), patellofemoral pain syndrome and pes anserinus bursitis.  It is his opinion that the motor vehicle collision on March 13, 2009 caused the onset of her left knee pain, which irritated the medial synovial plica.  He acknowledges that there is controversy in the literature and within his profession regarding the function of the synovial plica and its contribution to symptoms.  Some orthopedic surgeons, including Dr. Kokan, are of the view that it can make one susceptible to pain.  Others are of the opinion that the plica has minimal, if any, impact on pain.  Dr. Kokan concluded that Michelle’s plica, which was in a vulnerable position, being suddenly impacted caused direct trauma and caused her to experience the pain she had reported.  Moreover, the blunt impact of the accident also transmitted forces to other structures within her knee, including the patellofemoral joint.

[71] Dr. Kokan also acknowledged that patellofemoral pain syndrome could be caused by a person being inactive and then suddenly becoming active.

[72] In Dr. Kokan’s opinion, it is likely that Michelle could continue to experience her pain symptoms for between two to three years.  He expects that she will continue to experience difficulties with kneeling, walking, standing and negotiating stairs.  He recommends that Michelle limit her sports to non-impact activities such as swimming or cycling…

[75] I accept Dr. Kokan’s description of Michelle’s symptoms as described in his report.  I also accept his opinion that the pain in her left knee was caused by a blunt impact during the March 13, 2009 collision and that it is possible for the injury to the knee to have occurred during the accident but the pain associated with that injury not to have manifested itself for three weeks to a month…

[118] All of the injuries Michelle suffered to her forehead, shoulder, neck and back were minor and completely resolved within a few weeks.  None have reoccurred, although she does have a small, residual but indiscreet scar on her forehead.

[119] However there is no question that, since the collision, Michelle has experienced and is continuing to experience intense and ongoing pain in her left knee.  She is unable to climb or descend stairs or even walk or stand for prolonged periods of time without significant pain and having to sit and rest her knee.  She is unable to participate in sporting activities which she has grown up doing and which are her passion…

[130] The plaintiff is 21 years of age.  She continues to have trouble walking and standing without pain.  She is in pain every day.  Despite the pain, she is living a normal and enjoyable life.  The prognosis for a full recovery is good.

[131] After reviewing the foregoing cases and taking my findings of fact in this case into account, I find that that an award of $40,000 for non-pecuniary damages is appropriate.


Commercial Copy Rates Not Helpful When Addressing Reasonable Photocopy Disbursements

August 24th, 2012

A decision was recently publshed by the BC Supreme Court website addressing reasonable photocopy disbursements in an ICBC Claim.  Although it is a 2006 decision decided under the old rules, the Court’s comments remain relevant finding that commercial photocopy charges are not helpful when deciding a reasonable rate to charge for photocopy disbursements due to litigant privacy concerns.

In the recently published case (Kind v. Leung) Master Caldwell provided the following observation:

5] There is also information in here about photocopying through commercial endeavours.  There are privacy concerns related there and I take counsel’s point, but again the physical cost of copying in those facilities seems to run between five cents and 10 or 11 cents per page.

[6] Making allowance for in-house copying at a reasonable rate to meet the obligations of privacy and confidentiality, given the costs as I seem to have limited information here in the material relating to equipment, I am not able to indicate or to determine on the material provided by the plaintiff that their costs exceed 30 cents a page.  The rate set will be 30 cents per page.

You can click here to access more recent caselaw addressing photocopy disbursements.