This car accident injury claimant was awarded over $1.6 million for personal injury after deduction of welfare payments(Campbell v. Swetland, 2012 BCSC 423). This  personal injury claim arose from a motorcycle and automobile collision that occurred when the claimant was riding her red 2010 Triumph motorcycle northbound on Highway 6 when the south bound defendant, driving a white 1998 Subaru Forester, turned left across her path.  The collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 6 and Storbo Road about 7 kilometres north of Crescent Valley near Nelson, British Columbia.
 The judge found that the other driver was at fault.
The claimant suffered severe, debilitating and life threatening injuries. With respect to the deduction of past and future welfare payments the court pointed out,

[69] The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the deductibility of welfare payments from income loss awards in M.B. v. British Columbia, 2003 SCC 53, [2003] 2 S.C.R. 477, holding:

25. It is argued that social assistance is not a form of income replacement, because it is given on the basis of need for the purpose of relieving poverty.

26. In my view, this argument is mistaken. It is true that social assistance benefits are intended to relieve poverty, and that need is the relevant criterion. However, as Smith J.A. pointed out in his dissenting judgment in the Court of Appeal in the case at bar, this does not mean that they are not intended as wage replacement. On the contrary, it suggests that they are intended to replace that part of employment income that would normally be spent on meeting basic needs (para. 162). Most people who require welfare require it because they lack sufficient income to meet their basic needs, and the normal source of sufficient income is employment of one sort or another. Social assistance therefore replace income that most people would have obtained through employment. It does not purport to replace all of the income they would have obtained if they had a job. It only replaces enough to satisfy basic needs. But it is no less “wage replacement”, simply because it only replaces a portion of the income a person might otherwise have had.

Posted by personal injury lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness


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