In our last blog on the subject, we noted that court can be a bad place to resolve differences. Nobody likes to go to court. We recognize this and take every opportunity to settle the claims of our civil litigation clients outside of court. But sometimes there is very little choice. If you have a claim for damages, or are being sued, you will need a lawyer who has the skill to deliver an appropriate verdict in the courtroom. As you can see from the Harris & Brun court wins we have listed below, and the ones referred to in our September 17, 2019 post, we have the skill to take your case to trial if that is what is needed.*
Employment Law Trial Results
One of our clients, Mr. Booton, had no choice but to go to court. He was hired by the defendant plumbing company as a plumber in 2012, and then accepted a position as a service manager in 2014. He was terminated without warning in 2017, and was escorted off the premises. Mike Wilhelmson, with help from Graham Hardy, commenced action, and in a decision that was handed down March 1, 2019, Mr. Justice Bowden of the Supreme Court awarded damages of $34,275, plus further damages of $500 for the defamatory statements made of the plaintiff at the time of his dismissal, plus interest and costs: Booton v. Synergy Plumbing and Heating Ltd., 2019 BCSC 276.
Insurer Defence in Motor Vehicle Claims
In Lowe v. Johnson, 2019 BCSC 1283, a case defended by Lyle Harris QC, the female plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident sued for personal injury damages; in particular, for damages for future loss of income earning capacity of claimed at $119,000 to $150,000. It was asserted that as a result of her MVA-related injuries, she could not work as a server in a pub – which she had done before the MVA – and her ability to work as a project manager was compromised as a result of her alleged injuries. In a judgment released August 2, 2019, Madam Justice Morellato ruled that the plaintiff had not established she was entitled to any damages for loss of future earning capacity and declined to make any award for this heading at all.
In Davis v. Jeyaratnam, 2019 BCSC 1698, a case defended by Robert Brun QC and Nazanin Aram, the plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries in two accidents. In regard to the first accident, Madam Justice Fitzpatrick accepted the evidence of Mr. Jeyaratnam as to how the accident happened, ruled that the plaintiff was “the author of his own misfortune” (para. 165) and dismissed the action. For the second accident the Court awarded modest damages of $10,000 for aggravation of the plaintiff’s soft tissue injuries.
Plaintiff Personal Injury Claims
On February 17, 2015, Mr. Woo, a 64-year-old man, suffered catastrophic injuries when he fell from a ladder while installing diffusers on the ceiling of the bakeshop premises of the defendant bakery. As a result of the accident the plaintiff was left in a vegetative state requiring around-the-clock care. He currently lives in institutional care, and claimed through his wife who acted as litigation guardian. Michael Wilhelmson and Rebecca Buchanan of HBLC prosecuted the claim for Mrs. Woo. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff was completely at fault for falling off the ladder and that the action should be dismissed. The defendant further claimed that because the plaintiff had very little awareness of his surroundings, he should be entitled only to modest damages for pain and suffering. The Court (Mr. Justice Skolrood) found that the defendant failed to properly supervise the plaintiff and found the defendant bakery 50% responsible for the damages of Mr. Woo. The court awarded $175,000 damages for Mr. Wu’s pain and suffering and $150,000 in trust for the family who continue to love and care for him in his vegetative state. The finding on liability meant that Mr. Wu would recover 50% of his damages (Woo v. Crème De La Crumb Bakeshop & Catering Ltd., 2019 BCSC 1752).
*Disclaimer: The facts of your case will affect the outcome. Therefore, references to successful outcomes in similar cases illustrate our trial experience and not a guarantee of future results.