This personal injury case was raised from the dead by a rather direct referral to Access Pro Bono by Madam Justice Bennett allowing the claimant to obtain important free legal advice.  The lawyer from Access Pro Bono agreed to continue to act for the unrepresented claimant and the appeal was reinstated. The claimant was indigent and did not have a lawyer. 
The claimant filed a personal injury suit after he had left the Planet Café to retrieve a notebook, and was pursued and then assaulted by an employee, who mistakenly thought he had not paid his bill. The claimant did not hire a lawyer during critical part of his claim and the case was ultimately dismissed by the Supreme Court. 
The claimant obtained a default judgments against Planet Café Inc. for the mistaken dine and dash injury. The order required the claimant to have damages and costs assessed which never happened. 4 years later the court dismissed the claim in its entirety as the claimant failed to comply with the order. He did not serve the Planet Café nor provide a company search. 

The Supreme Court judge told the claimant that he needed to prepare and file a medical-legal report along with other evidence of income. The judge would not assess damages without this information. The judge dismissed the claim on the basis that the injury claimant had been advised by the court on several occasions of how to advance his claim and what evidence to bring forward, but had failed to do so.

In re-instating the appeal of the dismissal Judge Bennett states:

[16]  The appeal appears to have some merit. The appellant submits that he has three grounds of appeal: that the chambers judge erred in concluding that the damages could not be quantified; that the judge erred in dismissing the claim when the appellant already had two default judgments against the defendants; and that the judge erred by dismissing the claim on his own motion without notice to the appellant…

[19]  Taking all of the above-noted information into consideration, it is my view that the interests of justice require that the appeal should be reinstated. I would allow the application. (Jalava v. Webster,2016 BCCA 383)

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


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