BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Court Ordered Interest Allowed on Unpaid Special Damages

It is well established that a litigant in a BC injury claim is entitled to court ordered interest on successful special damages claims.  What about special damages that are owing but have have not yet been paid?  Is interest recoverable on these?  Reasons for judgement were released last week addressing this topic and the answer is yes.

In last week’s case (Thibeault v. MacGregor) Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following analysis:

[134]     I agree with Mr. Walton that the plaintiff is entitled to interest pursuant to the Court Order Interest Act (COIA) on the special damages I have awarded, even though the charges for physiotherapy have not yet been paid.  The relevant section of the COIA provides:

(1) Subject to section 2, a court must add to a pecuniary judgment an amount of interest calculated on the amount ordered to be paid at a rate the court considers appropriate in the circumstances from the date on which the cause of action arose to the date of the order.

(2) Despite subsection (1), if the order consists in whole or part of special damages, the interest on those damages must be calculated from the end of each 6 month period in which the special damages were incurred to the date of the order on the total of the special damages incurred

(a) in the 6 month period immediately following the date on which the cause of action arose, and

(b) in any subsequent 6 month period.

[emphasis added]

[135]     Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th ed. defines “incur” as “[to] suffer or bring on oneself (a liability or expense)”.  The plaintiff became liable for the cost of her physiotherapy payments when she either attended or missed her appointments.

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