RCMP “Voluntary” Wage Loss Payments Deducted from Member’s Tort Award
Reasons for judgment were published this week by the BC Court of Appeal addressing the common law principles of subrogation and double recovery in a BC tort claim.
In the recent case (Provost v. Dueck) the Plaintiff RCMP officer was involved in a crash and sued for damages. At trial he was awarded various damages including $27,500 for past income loss for the months his injuries disabled him from work. During this time of disability, however, the RCMP continued to pay his full wages. Payments for other various benefits were made as well. These payments “were not made pursuant to a collective agreement or any other contractual arrangement. Rather, they were made pursuant to the longstanding “practice or policy” of the RCMP to continue to pay the full wage benefits of injured officers during their convalescence“.
The BC Court of Appeal held that in these circumstances the RCMP enjoyed no true rights of subrogation and that the awards should not have been made in tort as they would constitute double recovery. In ordering a deduction of these damages from the Plaintiff’s award the BC Court of Appeal provided the following reasons: