Hearsay of Reduced Vehicle Value Not Enough to Prove Accelerated Depreciation
I have previously discussed the fact that accelerated vehicle depreciation is a recognized damage in BC. Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Court of Appeal addressing such a claim noting something more than hearsay is required to prove the loss.
In this week’s case (Kapelus v. Hu) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2006 collision. She proceeded to trial and was awarded damages for her injuries but her claim for accelerated vehicle depreciation was dismissed. The Plaintiff presented evidence of offers that others provided her for the purchase of the vehicle. The Court of Appeal noted that if this was the only evidence then there was no error in dismissing this aspect of her claim. The Court provided the following reasons:
24] Finally, I should say that the argument advanced by Mrs. Kapelus, that the judge erred in rejecting evidence of the loss in value of her vehicle, based solely on her report of offers to purchase the vehicle, is without merit. The judge ruled that Mrs. Kapelus’ evidence, that third parties had been prepared to purchase her car at a certain price prior to the accident, was hearsay. I accept this ruling: it is hearsay and it is not rendered admissible under the business records exception in the Evidence Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 124.