This personal injury claimant suffered soft tissue injuries in a car accident which developed into pain disorder. The issue at trial was the assessment of damages, and the first jury awarded her $528,000.00. This amount was overturned on appeal creating a a new “Reliable Hearsay Test” in personal injury cases.
The second jury awarded her only $84,000.00, despite ICBC having advanced her $250,000.00 between the first and second trials and offering to settle her case for $300,000.00. This first jury awarded her $55,000.00 and the second jury awarded her $25,000.00 for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The injury claimant had signed an “ICBC Advance Payment Agreement” (Mazur v. Lucas,2014 BCCA 19) and was ordered to repay the $250,000.00 to ICBC, which she had received on the assumption that her court award would be much higher. Typically any advance payment is applied as a credit and deducted from any settlement.
The court of Appeal refused to overturn the second jury’s decision on the value of this personal injury case stating,
The assessment of damages is within the purview of the jury. This Court will be reluctant to interfere with a jury award in the absence of finding that the verdict is plainly unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence. That cannot be said in this case where, understandably, the jury was struggling with [the injury claimant]’s credibility and related concerns. Additionally, this quantum is also consistent with the evidence from the orthopaedic surgeons, who believed her physical injuries would have healed within three to six months.
The Court of Appeal did uphold however the decision to award her costs despite the apparent losses and repayment under the ICBC Advance Payment Agreement. The decision to award her costs appeared to be the only good news for this injury claimant.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.