Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Court of Appeal dismissing an application for a new trial following a jury award in a chronic pain case.
In today’s case (Brown v. Goodacre) the Plaintiff was injured in a rear end collision that the Defendant was liable for. The crash resulted in chronic pain and a jury awarded the plaintiff $847,000 in total damages.
The Defendant appealed seeking a new trial arguing plaintiff’s counsel made inappropriate submissions during the trial including
(i) personalizing the case by bringing himself into the opening statement and closing submissions;
(ii) giving his personal opinion on the issues, including putting his personal stamp of approval on the merits of his client’s case;
(iii) giving engineering evidence in the guise of a common sense observation; and
(iv) in one case, quoting a statement from a medical report that was not in evidence at trial.
The Court of Appeal noted that while some of the comments were not appropriate a failure to object during trial coupled with the trial judge’s caution to the jury about many of these comments meant no new trial was warranted. In reaching this decision the Court of Appeal provided the following reasons: