The Diminished Earning Capacity Checklist
It is always a welcome development when a complex area of the law is judicially drilled down to point form. Last month Mr. Justice Savage of the BC Supreme Court did so with resepect to the law of ‘diminished earning capacity‘. In last month’s case (Parker v. Lemmon) the Court provided the following useful breakdown:
 The approach to such claims is well set out in the decision of Garson J.A. in Perren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140 at paras. 25-32, which I summarize as follows:
(1) A plaintiff must first prove there is a real and substantial possibility of a future event leading to an income loss before the Court will embark on an assessment of the loss;
(2) A future or hypothetical possibility will be taken into consideration as long as it is a real and substantial possibility and not mere speculation;
(3) A plaintiff may be able to prove that there is a substantial possibility of a future income loss despite having returned to his or her employment;
(4) An inability to perform an occupation that is not a realistic alternative occupation is not proof of a future loss;
(5) It is not the loss of earnings but rather the loss of earning capacity for which compensation must be made;
(6) If the plaintiff discharges the burden of proof, then there must be quantification of that loss;
(7) Two available methods of quantifying the loss are (a) an earnings approach or (b) a capital asset approach;
(8) An earnings approach will be more useful when the loss is more easily measurable;
(9) The capital asset approach will be more useful when the loss is not easily measurable.
bc injury law, diminished earning capacity, Mr. Justice Savage
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