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Functional Assessment Biomechanical System (FAB) Deemed Inadmissible in Injury Claim

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court considering the admissibility of the “Functional Assessment Biomechanical System” (known as FAB for short) in a personal injury claim.
In today’s case (Forstved v. Penner) the Plaintiff was suing as a result of personal injuries.  In presenting her case she hired an occupational therapist to write a report summarizing her physical limitations and giving an estimate of her future care needs.  In preparing this report the occupational therapist used the FAB system.
Mr. Justice summarize the FAB System as follows:

[5] The development of the FAB started in 2004 and Mr. McNeil has been using the FAB results since 2006 or 2007 in the preparation and formulation of his opinions.

[6] The FAB in short is comprised of hardware, the most critical part being some 13 wireless inertial sensors that are attached to a subject or patient’s body while they undertake various physical tasks; and software, that translates the signals from the sensors into measurements of the movements of the body on a real-time basis. Embedded in the software are functions such as the analysis of the data as requested by the operator as the test subject is conducting the instructed activities. It also includes a timer function, graphing and other report templates.

[7] Mr. McNeil is present while the subject performs the tests and says that he observes the actions of the subject. He also states that the FAB is not a diagnostic tool but rather augments his findings. He says he applies standardized tests which are set out in his report and that the FAB system provides additional measures that would otherwise only be guessed at by an evaluator.

The Defence lawyer argued that the expert report should not be admitted into evidence because the FAB System was “novel as a science or technique“.  Mr. Justice Masuhara agreed that the report was not admissible as the FAB System does not meet the judicially required “threshold level of reliability“.

Specifically Mr. Justice Masuhara held as follows:

[12] As I have mentioned, the report itself reflects the measurements from the FAB. The report is lengthy, being 82 pages, again which I say is largely comprised of the information derived from the FAB.

[13] The report says that there are checks and balances within the tests when cross correlating and with cross correlating tests in order to establish the level of effort put forth by the individual. As I have said, he states that it is not a test protocol and that standard tests are used throughout the assessment and that motion capture system augments the evaluator’s observation and allows for accurate measurement, mobility and measurements of biomechanical forces that could otherwise not be performed by the evaluator and that tests are performed to identified the reliability of the individual’s pain reports including distraction tests and Waddell signs.

[14] On the other hand, the defence in following the factors in R. v. J.?L.J. points to the following.

[15] That the technique which includes both the hardware and the software has not been tested except by Biosign or someone under its direction. Mr. McNeil’s own words stated that the testing was still in the “beta phase” which I took to mean that it was not yet ready commercially. The software itself is proprietary and Mr. McNeil being an occupational therapist is not able to speak to the coding as he did not develop it, nor could he speak to the hardware but relied upon his own team of engineers who have developed these things. From that perspective there are some difficulties with respect to the ability to test and to query the software and the hardware embedded and integrated within the FAB.

[16] That the technique while Mr. McNeil indicated was under some form of peer review, nothing has been published and Mr. McNeil was not able to indicate when such a review or the results of such a review would be produced. He also agreed that the motion capture technique is a relatively new technique. Though I note that he stated it was not “cutting edge”.

[17] There are no published standards for the techniques nor is there any rate of error known though Mr. McNeil did say that the device had met CSA, Health Canada, FDA and FCC standards. However, on cross-examination it was revealed that these standards largely deal with safety issues with respect to the device being used upon a subject and could not be taken to speak to the accuracy or reliability of the FAB.

[18] In regard to the technique being generally accepted, Mr. McNeil is the only occupational therapist in British Columbia using the motion capture software. There is no consensus on any technology being the best for the type of work that is the subject of this ruling. No one has yet purchased his technology and the vast majority of occupational therapists do not use motion capture techniques.

[19] Complicating the entirety of the circumstances is the fact that Mr. McNeil is the inventor and a marketer of the FAB. He has a financial interest in the acceptance and success of the FAB. Mr. McNeil’s testimony revealed a lack of appreciation regarding the role of a court expert and the need for open and candid disclosure of a financial interest in the very tools that he refers to in validating or verifying the reliability of the information supporting his opinions. His view that such information was irrelevant was troubling. This problem with respect to his non-disclosure was also referred to by Madam Justice Allan recently in the Rizzolo v. Brett, 2009 BCSC 732 at para. 105. I wish to add that Mr. Mussio was not aware of these issues and that Mr. Chan for the defence only came upon Mr. McNeil’s testimony before Allan J. on the weekend before this trial started.

[20] In the circumstances, I am of the view that the results from the FAB do not meet the threshold level of reliability. As the subject report is comprised to a large degree with the data from the FAB, which creates an unwarranted perception of precision, and which is integrated into the recommendations I rule that the report is not admissible in its present form. Having said that, I think it would be in order for the court to receive submissions from Mr. Mussio and of course reply by Mr. Chan as to Mr. McNeil being called to provide evidence and his opinions based on his observations or some other form in which his testimony can be received by the court. That concludes my ruling.

Scope of Neuropsychological Evidence in BC Brain Injury Cases Discussed

Reasons for judgement were published today on the BC Supreme Court website dealing with the scope of permissible neuropsychological opinion evidence in BC Brain Injury Cases.
When ICBC or other BC brain injury cases go to trial a neuropsychologist is a common type of expert witness called by both Plaintiff and Defence Lawyers.  Neuropsychologists are extensively trained with respect to the cognitive and behavioural consequences of brain injuries and for this reason their evidence is often vital in the prosecution of brain injury claims.
In today’s case (Meghji v. Lee) the Plaintiff alleged she suffered a traumatic brain injury.  In support of her case the Plaintiff sought to have a neuropsychologist give opinion evidence with respect to the cognitive and behavioural sequelae of brain injuries and also with respect to whether the Plaintiff suffered from organic tissue to her brain.  The Defence lawyer objected claiming the latter opinion is outside of the scope of a neuropsycholgists permissible expert opinion.  Mr. Justice Johnston agreed with the defence objection and summarized and applied the law as follows:

[27] Counsel for the plaintiff wants Dr. Malcolm to be permitted to give an opinion on whether Ms. Meghji has had an injury to her brain. I looked briefly at Dr. Malcolm’s written reports, and in his first report, the one of February 1, 2007, Dr. Malcolm provides an overview of the place of psychometric testing in his overall task in this way. He says:

Once the test results are determined to reflect the person’s neuropsychological status with acceptable accuracy, the question remains as to whether clinically significant test results reflect organic damage, or stem from other factors, such as psychological causes. The neuropsychological process considers all of these possibilities in reaching diagnostic conclusions. The conclusions reached are based on a balance of probability, the strength of which is indicated where possible.

[28] At the risk of appearing to be overly semantic about this analysis, I take it that what counsel want Dr. Malcolm to be able to do is to testify by way of opinion about whether or not there has been some form of harm or damage to the tissues of the brain of Ms. Meghji as opposed to some form of harm or damage to the mind or emotions or personality of Ms. Meghji. Whether there is a distinction between the brain as an organ of the body, on the one hand, and the mind and personality of the person in whose body the brain is found, on the other, is a metaphysical question that I hope I never have to answer in a court of law. I am going to confine myself to what I think is in issue, and that is Dr. Malcolm’s qualifications as a neuropsychological and whether they permit him to provide the ready-made inference through opinion on whether there has been physical harm or damage to the brain as an organ of the body, and in my view, they do not.

[29] The statutory regime does not, in my view, go any further than to allow testing, assessment, diagnosis of, and therefore opinions on the abilities, aptitudes, interests, et cetera, or the behaviour, emotional, or mental disorders, that is, disorders of the mind. These conditions may arise with or without damage to the structure or tissues of the brain. They may be associated with or flow from injury or damage to the brain itself. They may arise from or flow from other causes. It does not necessarily follow that because Dr. Malcolm is permitted by statute to test, assess, or diagnose behavioural, emotional, or mental disorder that he must therefore be permitted to give in evidence his opinion that the cause of any of these conditions stems from an injury to the tissues or structures of the brain.

[30] In my view, Dr. Malcolm’s qualifications do not go so far as to permit that opinion.

[31] That does not say that Dr. Malcolm cannot give, in evidence, his opinion based upon the results of his testing, nor does it prevent Dr. Malcolm from giving an opinion on whether the test results as evaluated by him are of a nature, kind, or quality seen in people who have been diagnosed as having had organic brain injuries.

[32] In my view, the distinction drawn by Mr. Justice Clancy in Knight remains appropriate, and that is, Dr. Malcolm is qualified to give his opinion on the cognitive and behavioural sequelae of brain injuries and to indicate the relative likelihood of any cognitive and behavioural abnormalities being the consequence of a traumatic brain injury, but to paraphrase Mr. Justice Clancy, it does not permit him, that is, Dr. Malcolm, to diagnose physical injury and the manner in which it was incurred.

[33] It therefore follows that Dr. Malcolm will not be permitted to give his opinion on whether Ms. Meghji has had an injury to the tissues of her brain or, obviously, as to the cause of any such injury, but he will be permitted to testify as I have indicated.

BC Supreme Court Addresses Scope of Expert Witness Cross Examination

Reasons for judgement were released today addressing the permissible scope of Cross Examination of an expert witness in a BC Injury Claim.
In today’s case (MacEachern v. Rennie) the Defendants called a physician to give expert opinion evidence.  This physician happened to be a treating doctor of the Plaintiff’s prior to her injuries.  While testifying the doctor was taken through his clinical records by defence counsel on an entry by entry basis.  The doctor was asked what happened on each of those clinic visits and in canvassing this the doctor gave evidence about the prognosis and treatment of Hepatitis C (which is an area the doctor apparently was not called to address).
The Plaintiff then wished to cross examine the doctor about treatments and the prognosis for Hepatitis C.  The Defence lawyer objected to this on the basis that such a cross examination would “call for new opinion that are not admissible since the Plaintiff has not served the defendants with notice of those opinion“.
Mr. Justice Ehrcke swiftly rejected the Defendant’s objections noting that they could not restrict the cross examination on a topic which they chose to ask the doctor about in direct.  Specifically Mr. Justice Ehrcke noted as follows:

[11]         With respect to the first point, the CN Defendants argue that the notice which they served on the plaintiff in connection with Dr. Glynn-Morris contains only treatment opinions and does not touch on the area of the plaintiff’s Hepatitis C. This argument misses the mark. The plaintiff is entitled to respond to all the opinion evidence led by the CN Defendants, not just that which was contained in the written statement of Dr. Glynn-Morris’ opinion. It was counsel for the CN Defendants who chose in direct-examination to ask Dr. Glynn-Morris about testing of the plaintiff for Hepatitis C. It was in direct-examination that Dr. Glynn-Morris opined that in 30 percent of people, Hepatitis C cures itself and disappears, and that he ordered a test to see if that is what had happened in Ms. MacEachern’s case. Having opened up that area in examination-in-chief, the CN Defendants cannot now restrict the plaintiff’s cross-examination about it simply on the ground that it was not covered in the written statement that they had delivered to the plaintiff.

[12]         In any event, the proposed evidence is also truly responsive as a rebuttal to the opinion of another expert witness called by the CN defendants, Dr. Baker, whose report entered at Tab 1 of Exhibit 61 states:

I note Ms. MacEachern had already contracted hepatitis C which with her ongoing ingestion of multiple drugs would likely have progressed with liver damage and possible cirrhosis and eventual liver failure.

[13] Nevertheless, the CN Defendants argue that even if the proposed line of questioning did not require notice pursuant to the provisions of Rule 40A, notice was still required because of the case management order made in respect of this trial on February 6, 2009, which provided, among other things, that the plaintiff’s reply or rebuttal reports were to be delivered by January 29, 2009. The CN Defendants point out that Dr. Baker’s report was delivered to the plaintiff on December 1, 2008. They submit therefore that any opinion evidence in reply to Dr. Baker’s report should have been delivered to them by January 29, 2009.

[14]         The short answer to this argument is that the deadlines set out in the case management order relate to expert witnesses that each party proposed to call as witnesses in their own case. The order does not, by its terms, require a party to give notice of the questions it proposes to ask in cross-examination of another party’s witnesses, even if those questions in cross-examination have the effect of eliciting an expert rebuttal or reply opinion.

[15] The case of Canadian National Railway Company v. Canada, 2002 BCSC 1669, 8 B.C.L.R. (4th) 323 cited by the CN Defendants is distinguishable, because that case did not deal with the effect of a case management order on questions asked of an opposing witness in cross-examination.

[16] To summarize:  the questions that the plaintiff proposes to ask in cross-examination of Dr. Glynn-Morris are proper, and to the extent that they elicit expert opinions, those opinions are proper reply or rebuttal. Such reply or rebuttal opinions elicited in cross-examination are not subject to the notice requirements of Rule 40A, or of the case management orders that were made in this case.

More on BC Injury Claims, Proportionality and the Mandatory Nature of Rule 68

Further to my previous postings on Rule 68 in ICBC and other Injury Claims, the Rules mandatory nature was further developed by the BC Supreme Court today.
First a brief background.  Rule 68 is a ‘proportionality’ based rule which limits and alters the types of pre-trial procedures available to litigants in the BC Supreme Court for certain types of cases.  Rule 68 also takes away the right to trial by jury for cases where the rule applies.
Subsection 2 of Rule 68 sets out when the Rule applies.  One type of action subject to Rule 68 is where a Plaintiff claims for pecuniary and non-pecuniary loss for less than $100,000.  This includes many ICBC and other Injury Claims.
Recent Court Decisions have interpreted Rule 68 as being mandatory when the factors in Rule 68(2) apply.  In the case of Foster v. Westfair Properties (Pacific) Ltd. Master McCallum of the BC Supreme Court held that:
Rule 68 is mandatory and requires that actions qualifying as expedited actions proceed under the provisions of the rule.  The absence of the required endorsement is an irregularity that may be remedied by amendment.  The commencement of a proceeding without the Rule 68 endorsement does not change the character of the proceeding to permit process outside the limits of the rule.
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court illustrating just how far our Courts can go in applying the mandatory nature of this rule.
In today’s case (Uribe v. Magnus) the Plaintiff was allegedly injured in 2007 BC Car Crash.  The Plaintiff started a lawsuit but did not make the Claim subject to Rule 68.  As the lawsuit progressed the Defendant took advantage of the pre-trial steps available for lawsuits filed outside of Rule 68 including examinations for discovery.  Furthermore none of the Rule 68 pre trial requirements were adhered to.
The Defendant took out a Jury Notice and even paid the necessary Jury Fees.  The Plaintiff then valued his claim below $100,000 and as the trial neared brought an application for an order that the lawsuit was ‘subject to rule 68’.  The defendant opposed this motion arguing that the motion was brought too late in the lawsuit and that it would result in significant prejudice including the loss of right of trial by jury.
The Court granted the motion and noted that “there is no timiing limitation in (rule 68)“.   Master Caldwell went on to make the following comments:
The concept of proportionality is now formally ingrained in our law by the terms of Rule 68.  It is hard to imagine that a simple claim which the plaintiff’s counsel himself admits will not exceed $50,000 and which more likely falls in the $30,000 to $40,000 range can justify the overall expense of a three day jury trial.  While I accept the submissions of defendant’s counsel that the defendant has been prejudiced by the late date of the plaintiff’s application, the denial of a jury trial, the fact that they have prepared for a jury trial and the fact that they have had to undertake various steps and procedures which would not have been necessary had the matter been commenced subject to Rule 68 or placed into that rule at an earlier date I am satisfied that these issues can be compensated for by the appropriate order of costs to the defendant while at the same time maintaining and protecting the purpose and mandatory nature of Rule 68.
The Court went on to  balance some the Defence concerns by ordering that the Plaintiff be responsible for the costs for ‘all procedures undertaken to date which would not have been required or allowed under Rule 68“.  This case is worth reviewing in full for anyone interested in the development of the concept of ‘proportionality’ in BC Supreme Court Injury Litigation.
As readers of this blog may know, the current BC Supreme Court rules are being repealed and replaced with new Rules next summer.  Rule 68 will be repealed and replaced with Rule 15.  Rule 15 also utilizes the concept of proportionality and today’s case may be telling in the direction BC Courts will take under the new Rules when applying this concept to injury litigation.

Vehicle Damage and the Law of "Accelerated Depreciation"

When a vehicle is damaged in a BC car crash and subsequently repaired, the repaired vehicle may have a lower market value than it otherwise would have.  Can the owner of such a vehicle be compensated for this loss?  The answer is yes and is dealt with under a head of damage known as ‘accelerated depreciation’.  Reasons for judgment were released today by the BC Supreme Court dealing with this legal principle.
In today’s case (Cummings v. Daewoo Richmond) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 motor vehicle collision.  The Plaintiff purchased a used vehicle from the Defendant Daewoo.  Seven days later she lost control of her vehicle and was injured as a result of the crash.  Madam Justice Gerow found that the Defendant sold the Plaintiff a vehicle with defective tires.  The court then concluded that “the accident was caused by a loss of friction due to the wear on the rear tires of the vehicle, and that Daewoo has failed to establish that Ms. Cummings’ operation of the vehicle either caused or contributed to the accident.”
The court went on to award the Plaintiff just over $38,000 in total damages including $7,600 for ‘accelerated depreciation’ of her vehicle.  I set Madam Gerow’s discussion out of this area of the law below:

Accelerated depreciation

[70] Ms. Cummings is claiming the amount of $7,600 for accelerated depreciation of the Nissan due to the damage it sustained in the accident. For the following reasons, I have concluded that an award in that amount for accelerated depreciation is appropriate.

[71] The cost to repair the Nissan following the June 2006 motor vehicle accident was in excess of $13,000. Ms. Cummings tried to trade the Nissan in following the accident but was told by Dean Dodd, the lease manager at the Richmond Honda dealership, that the dealership is not interested in a vehicle that had sustained more than $5,000 in damage in an accident. Mr. Dodd confirmed that the dealership does not accept cars for trade that have in excess of $4,000 damage.

[72] Mr. Haffenden testified that the owner of a vehicle that has been involved in an accident where the damages exceed $2,000 must declare the damages, whether selling privately or to a dealer. In his opinion, the Nissan would have suffered a depreciation of approximately 20% or $7,600 on the date of the accident as a result of the damage it sustained.

[73] It is not necessary for a plaintiff to sell a vehicle in order to make out a claim for accelerated depreciation. The assessment of a claim for accelerated depreciation should be made on the day of the accident:  Reinders v. Wilkinson (1994), 51 B.C.A.C. 230.

BC Injury Claims and "Responsive" Expert Opinion Evidence

Currently the law relating to the disclosure of expert opinion evidence is governed by Rule 40A of the BC Supreme Court Rules.   (click here to read my previous posts about the upcoming changes to the Rules of Expert Opinion Evidence).
If a party wishes to introduce expert opinion evidence at trial Rule 40A requires that “a copy of the statement is furnished to every party of record at least 60 days before the statement is tendered in evidence.”
One noteworthy exception to this is the rule of “responsive” opinion  evidence.  If the defence in a personal injury trial obtains a report that does not offer a fresh opinion but rather is an opinion that is ‘truly responsive to evidence introduced by the opposing party”  the 60 day notice period does not apply.
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court dealing with this area of law.  In today’s case (MacEachern v. Rennie) “the plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injury when her head struck the side of a large tractor-trailer as she was walking or riding a bicycle along the side of King George Highway” in 2005.  One of the Defendants in the Plainitiff’s injury claim sought to introduce the report of a toxicologist which concluded that “the plaintiff was cognitively impaired from the ingestion of drugs at the time of the accident, and that she had permanent brain damage from drug abuse prior to the accident.”
This report was served outside of the requirements of Rule 40A.  The defendant tried to rely on the ‘responsive‘ evidence exception to Rule 40-A and have the report introduced into evidence despite its late disclosure (the report in fact was exchanged after the Plaintiff concluded her portion of the trial).
In refusing to enter the report into evidence Mr. Justice Ehrcke gave the following consice and handy definition of the law of rebuttal opinion evidence in the BC Supreme Court:
The right to introduce opinion evidence without notice is limited to rebuttal evidence that is truly responsive to evidence introduced by the opposing party, and cannot be used as a masquerade for introducing a fresh opinion: Sterritt v. McLeod (2000), 74 B.C.L.R. (3d) 371 (C.A.); Stainer v. Plaza (2001), 87 B.C.L.R. (3d) 182 (C.A.). Where a defendant elicits opinions in cross-examination of a plaintiff’s witness that were not in that witness’s report, the defendant cannot use his own elicitation to justify calling a defence expert to give an opinion on the topic without notice.

Can a BC Resident Injured Abroad Sue for Damages in British Columbia?

The answer is contained in the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act and today reasons for Judgement were released by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, dealing with this issue.
In today’s case (Roed v. Scheffler) the Plaintiff was injured on June 25, 2006 in Washington State as a result of the alleged negligence of 2 Washington State Residents or in the alternative John Doe or ICBC pursuant to the Insurance (Vehicle) Act’s unidentified motorist provisions.
The Plaintiff, a BC Resident, brought her tort claim for damages in the BC Supreme Court.  The defendants challenged the courts jurisdiction to hear the case a brought a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Madam Justice Bruce of the BC Supreme Court granted the defendants motion and in staying the lawsuit the court summarized and applied the law as follows:
[38] Certainly the fact Ms. Roed continued to suffer from her injuries in British Columbia and sought treatment here are “facts upon which the proceeding against the [defendants] is based.” Clearly, the continuing harm caused by the negligence of the defendants will form a significant part of Ms. Roed’s claim for non-pecuniary damages.

[39] Are these connections to British Columbia sufficient to meet the real and substantial connection test? The only similar case cited by Ms. Roed where the court assumed jurisdiction isMuscutt. However, based on the discussion in that case, it is doubtful that the Ontario Court of Appeal would have taken jurisdiction on the facts of the case before me. In particular, Sharpe J.A. found that the nature and extent of the damages suffered by the plaintiff within the jurisdiction was a factor and that, unless it was significant, the court should decline jurisdiction: Muscutt at para. 79. In this case, apart from providing a list of medical practitioners she has seen, Ms. Roed does not describe the nature of her injuries or the treatment she has undergone. Further, Ms. Roed deposes that she has suffered a loss of income but does not quantify it.

[40] There are other factors that were found significant in Muscutt that are missing in this case:

1.         The defendants were engaged in business activities that involved an inherent risk of harm to extra-provincial parties. The plaintiff was struck by a commercial vehicle and this vehicle was subsequently struck by an ambulance. The defendants were apparently insured against suits in all Canadian provinces.

2.         The accident occurred in another Canadian province where the enforcement and recognition of an Ontario judgment would not be an issue. In addition, fairness to the defendant is not a concern because the same test of real and substantial connection applies throughout the country. For this reason, Sharpe J. A. concluded that there is generally a more lenient approach to assuming jurisdiction in interprovincial cases as opposed to international actions: Muscutt at paras. 95-99.

[41] In contrast, cases involving defendants from other countries pose more difficult jurisdictional issues. Because enforcement of the judgment in the foreign jurisdiction is a factor to consider in the real and substantial connection test, the approach to jurisdiction taken by the foreign country when the connecting factor is the location of damages is a relevant concern. Of significance to the case at hand, Sharpe J.A. refers to the law in the United States on this issue at para. 105 of Muscutt:

By contrast, in other countries, it appears that damage sustained within the jurisdiction is only accepted as a basis for assumed jurisdiction in certain limited circumstances. As discussed above, in the United States, the minimum contacts doctrine requires an act or conduct on the part of the defendant that amounts to personal subjection to the jurisdiction. Without more, damage sustained in the jurisdiction does not satisfy the doctrine.

[42] The constitutional limits on the reach of provincial legislation were expressly addressed in Muscutt by incorporating into the real and substantial connection test the concepts of fairness (toward the foreign defendant) and jurisdictional restraint in the application of the test. While the language of s. 3(e) of the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act does not appear to expressly incorporate these concepts, the court must interpret and apply this provision consistent with the constitutional limits on provincial legislation both inter-provincially and internationally. The discussion contained in Muscutt underlines the risks inherent in a decision to take jurisdiction without due consideration of the international aspects of the proceedings. Specifically, if the court takes jurisdiction based upon a broad application of the test, and one inconsistent with the laws in the foreign jurisdiction, the judgment may not be enforceable in the foreign jurisdiction where the defendant resides.

[43] Turning to the facts of the case before me, I find the plaintiff has failed to satisfy the test for territorial competence articulated in s. 3 (e) of the Act. I find the fact that the plaintiff continues to suffer damages in British Columbia insufficient to establish a real and substantial connection on its own.  These damages are suffered in British Columbia purely as a result of the plaintiff’s residence here. To find a real and substantial connection based on these facts would be to effectively base jurisdiction entirely on the plaintiff’s residence. As set out above, it is well established that a plaintiff’s residence is not sufficient grounds for a territorial competence.

[44] In my view, the reference to “damages” as a factor favouring jurisdiction simpliciter in Jordan and the test articulated in Morguard are directed at the place in which the injury actually occurs rather than the place where the plaintiff continues to experience pain and suffering or economic loss. While the latter circumstances are important, there must be something more to establish a real and substantial connection between BC and the facts upon which the action is based.

[45] This not a situation where the competing jurisdiction is another Canadian province in which case a more lenient standard may apply. Comity requires the court to consider the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement that prevail in the foreign state when applying the real and substantial connection test.


[46] For these reasons, I find the Supreme Court of British Columbia lacks territorial competence over the defendant Ms. Scheffler. The plaintiff’s action against Ms. Scheffler is stayed pursuant to Rule 14(6)(a).

[47] Ms. Scheffler is entitled to party and party costs at scale B.