In this personal injury case Volvo was found 100% liable for negligent manufacture, negligent design and failure to warn for a Volvo 780 truck purchased in 2007. The appellants, Volvo Trucks North America Inc. and National Truck Centre Inc. dba Pacific Coast Heavy Truck Group, appealed an order that they pay damages to the claimant husband and wife in the combined amount of $4,893,887. (Hans v. Volvo Trucks North America Inc.,2018 BCCA 410)
The injured couple were travelling on a highway near Winnipeg, Manitoba when the truck lost all electrical power and jack-knifed into a ditch. The truck had no fog lights, no head lights, no interior lights, and no power steering. Two of the awards in dispute were the $265,000 for mental pain and suffering award to the husband and his awards for future losses.
Volvo admitted that the truck accident was caused by a loose nut on the cab positive terminal. They disputed, however, the reason the nut was loose, and they made several submissions to support their proposition that the judge fatally erred in his conclusions. None of the arguments of Volvo were accepted by the Court of Appeal.
In upholding the pain and suffering award of $265,000 for mental injury the Court of Appeal found that it was open to the judge to consider the accident’s impact upon the husband was at a “near catastrophic” level.
The award is summarized as follows:
1.  Pain and Suffering Award:
a) Wife- $15,000
b) Husband- $265,000
2.“In-trust” award for wife- $165,000
3. Cost of husbands’ Past Care (payable to the Province under the Health Care Costs Recovery Act)- $198,868.75
4. Cost of Future Care for Husband:
a) Medications- $75,000
b) Rehabilitation Therapies- $22,000
c) Care and Supervision- $1,684,000
5. Past loss of Income Earning Capacity:
a) Husband- $318,750
b) Wife- $199,076 (subject to possible maternity leave deductions)
6. Future Loss of Earning Capacity:
a) Husband- $1,455,000
b) Wife- $470,000
TOTAL Injury Award$4,867,694.75
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.