Loans From Your Mother "Are Not Special Damages"

Update February 3, 2015 – the below judgement was successfully appealed and remitted for a new trial.  The appeal was based on grounds other than the below excerpt.
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, confirming that the principle sum borrowed when in need following collision related injuries is not a recoverable special damage.
In this week’s case (Healey v. Chung) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2005 pedestrian/vehicle collision.  The Plaintiff claimed it was a ‘catastrophic accident’ and sought damages between $485,000 and $1,037,000.  The Court noted considerable credibility concerns with the Plaintiff’s evidence and rejected much of his claim.  Included in the rejected damages were funds sought due to loans from family members.  In rejecting this portion of the claim Mr. Justice Ball provided the following reasons:
[184]     Monies Mr. Healey borrowed from his mother or others are not “special damages”. Mr. Healey testified that he did not recall the use to which the borrowed monies were put. Mrs. Healey testified that the borrowed money was used to pay household expenses including rent. Consequently, no evidence before the Court demonstrates that borrowed monies were used in any way, for instance, for therapy for injuries the accident caused that somehow would relate the borrowing to the accident.
[185]     Second, only interest paid on borrowed money would be a “special damage.” And absolutely no evidence before this Court demonstrates that any interest was agreed or paid in relation to the claimed loans. Consequently: no amount is allowed for the borrowed monies: Choma v. Canadian Vehicle Leasing Limited, [1982] B.C.J. No. 1036 (S.C.) and Wong v. Hemmings, 2012 BCSC 907.

bc injury law, Healey v. Chung, Mr. Justice Ball, Special Damages


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When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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