This stunning and important Court of Appeal decision increased a loss of future earning capacity award making it easier to predict court awards in personal injury cases(Jurczak v. Mauro,2013 BCCA 507).
Changing the tide following  Perren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140 the Court of Appeal appears to be embracing a more practical, mathematical and predictable approach when it comes to loss of income or earning capacity in the future.
The trial judge in this personal injury cases arising from a car accident awarded $120,000 for loss of future earnings despite the plaintiff’s suggestion that the appropriate determination should be approximately half-way between $755,000.  The court of Appeal found that this reduction to $120,000.00 had no foundation in the evidence. The trial judge’s award had no correlation to the award for past income loss; nor did it accord with the trial judge’s own findings regarding the effect of her injuries on her future ability to work.  The Appeal Court increased the award to $390,000.00 and in so stated:

[35]  Quantifying a loss may be aided by some mathematical calculation, but there is no particular formula…[37]… if there are mathematical aids that may be of some assistance, the court should start its analysis by considering them. For example, in Henry v. Zenith (1993), 31 B.C.A.C. 223 at paras. 44-48, 82 B.C.L.R. (2d) 186 (C.A.), this Court held that a trial judge’s failure to consider an economist’s projections of a plaintiff’s lost future earning capacity contributed to the judge committing an error in principle, which “resulted in a wholly erroneous estimate of the damages”.

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

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