In Henderson v. McGregor 2019 BCSC 1964, the claimant sought damages for injuries resulting from an unprovoked assault and battery following a road rage incident.
The road rage incident occurred on June 2, 2017 on Highway 99 near the entrance to the George Massey Tunnel. Before the incident, the plaintiff was driving from Delta to Vancouver. As he approached the George Massey Tunnel and while trying to merge into the left lane, he stopped his vehicle due to traffic congestion in front. The defendant, who was in the left lane he was attempting to merge into, was traveling closely behind him and then suddenly honked her horn as she stopped her vehicle abruptly. As the injured claimant was concerned that there was a collision between the vehicles, he put his vehicle in park and then walked to the rear of his vehicle to see if there was any damage. He also walked over to the defendant’s vehicle. At that point, she rolled down her window and punched him in the face suddenly and without warning so hard that his glasses came off of his face and fell into her vehicle. He tried to compose himself and then asked for his glasses back. The defendant responded by rolling up her window and driving off.
As a result of the assault, the injured claimant sustained several lacerations on his face and a scratch to his cornea resulting in impaired vision. By the time of the trial, he continued to use eye drops to alleviate eye irritation and he continued to be upset by the assault suffering from anxiety from time to time.
The trial judge awarded $20,000.00 for pain and suffering in addition to $2,000.00 for aggravated damages for the humiliation from the facial injuries and $12,000.00 for income loss resulting from two weeks of missed work. As it relates to the loss of income claim, the injured claimant was employed as a business consultant which brought him into contact with clients across Canada. His income depended on his ability to broker transactions for clients, which involved face-to-face meetings. While his facial injuries were healing, he minimized contact with people because of his physical appearance. He cancelled a business trip and did not meet with clients for two weeks following the assault. On the few occasions he did see friends or clients, he found them distracted and concerned by his appearance. One person commented that his face looked as if he was attacked by a bear.