A selection of personal injury and insurance cases* where our lawyers have successfully helped clients includes:
Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT Decision Number: A1700538, August 29, 2018)
Keri Grenier acted for a worker who suffered multiple injuries while working in the laundry department of the Kelowna General Hospital when he was lifted off the ground and crushed by a laundry machine. Despite his significant injuries, the worker was denied part of his WorkSafeBC claim on the basis that his injuries were initially found be unrelated to the accident. Keri requested a review of the decision denying his neck injury, among other things. The Review Division denied the review. Keri successfully appealed on behalf of her client to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) which confirmed that the worker’s neck injury arose out of the accident. WCAT also suggested that the Board should consider a permanent, partial disability pension assessment with medical treatment.
Niessen v. Emcon Services Inc, 2018 BCSC 1410
John Cameron and Paul Bosco assisted Mr. Niessen who was the sole proprietor of a plumbing-and-heating company. Mr. Niessen sustained significant injuries when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle that crossed the centre line of a high way and these injuries affected all areas of his life. The main issue at trial was the degree to which Mr. Niessen’s ability to earn income had suffered as a result of his injuries. ICBC took the position that there was a lack of documented evidence to support this loss. However, the court accepted Mr. Cameron and Mr. Bosco’s arguments that Mr. Niessen’s history of skill and ability in his industry, his business records, and the witness called on his behalf including former co-workers and customers, all were sufficient to prove that a significant loss as occurred. In the end, the Court awarded over $840,000 for this loss of earning potential. Overall, the court awarded Mr. Niessen just over $1.2 million, which was almost triple the amount the insurance company had argued Mr. Niessen deserved.
Wilton v. Koestlmaier, 2018 BCSC 1257
Joe Murphy, Q.C. and Brandon Souza acted for the executors and estate of the deceased, Maxine Wilton, who altered her Will by completing two codicils. The defendants, the deceased’s grandchildren, were no longer beneficiaries in the Will after the second codicil was made. The grandchildren challenged that codicil claiming suspicious circumstances surrounding the making of the codicil, that the grandmother lacked the testamentary capacity, and that she was subject to undue influence. The grandmother suffered strokes both before and after the codicil which left the grandchildren out of her will. After a five day trial, the court found the codicil valid and that the grandmother knew exactly what she was doing.
Huang v. Canadian National Railway Company, 2018 BCSC 1235
Stephen Gibson, Scott Stanley, and Brandon Souza acted for the plaintiff who suffered a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury that rendered her an incomplete quadriplegic. The plaintiff, an engineer, was driving across train tracks at a passive crossing when a train collided with the right side of her vehicle. The court found that Canadian National Railway Company was aware of insufficient sight lines and the dangerous nature of the specific railway crossing for many years prior to the accident and took no actions to ameliorate those risks. Despite the Plaintiff’s failure to stop at a stop sign at the railway crossing, Canadian National Railway Company was still found 60% at fault for the accident. The court awarded approximately $3,200,000 in damages.
QP v. Bolton, 2018 BCSC 1090
Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein and Paul Bosco acted for an RCMP officer who was significantly injured in the course of his duties. The court accepted their arguments that his life was significantly impacted as a result of his injuries, he missed out on earning overtime income, his opportunity for advancement in his career may be limited, and that his wife was entitled to compensation for the care she provided by way of an in trust claim. The court also accepted their argument that he and his employer should be compensated for the time he missed from work, despite having been paid by his employer for this time, finding that it would be unfair to let the wrongdoer benefit from the generosity of the employer.
Broad v. Clark, 2018 BCSC 1069
In Broad v. Clark, Veronica Medved and Tara Chandler represented the Plaintiff who was only 23 years old at the time of the collision. After T-boning the Defendant (who was found 100% responsible for the collision), the Plaintiff developed a traumatic lesion on her spine and chronic pain condition which disabled her from gainful employment. The Court awarded damages in the amount of $1,885,000, including $185,000 for pain and suffering and $1,297,146 in future income loss. Although her working history was short, the Court accepted that as a single mom, the Plaintiff was very attached to the workforce and would have worked on a full-time basis to the age of 70 without voluntary withdrawal.
Abdi v. Bottomley et al., (Jury trial) June 26, 2018
Scott Stanley and Paul Bosco represented a young woman who was the victim of horrible burns following an explosion at a backyard fire pit. The tenant poured a bucket of used motor oil on the fire, causing it to explode. The landlord, who happened to be the City of Burnaby, had been warned the tenant had fires in the past, which was contrary to their own bylaw prohibiting open fires, but did nothing about this. In the course of a month-long jury trial, the court accepted the arguments of Mr. Stanley and Mr. Bosco that (1) a duty of care was owed by the landlord to the victim, a visitor to the premises, (2) it was impossible for the victim to be found at all at fault for the incident and her injuries, and (3) only basic factual questions should be put to the jury for consideration. The jury ultimately awarded the victim a total of $4.56 million.
Read the Trial Summary of Abdi v. Bottomley.
James v. James, 2018 BCSC 603
Bill Dick and Keri Grenier acted for a Plaintiff whose injuries had rendered her an incomplete quadriplegic. The Court agreed that she required full time care that was being provided up to the date of trial by her spouse. The Court awarded total damages exceeding $3.4 million.
Chen v. Lam, 2017 BCSC 2073
This case involved physical and psychological injuries sustained by a 49 year-old pedestrian on a sidewalk when a driver lost control while attempting to park, drove onto the sidewalk, and pinned the pedestrian against a wall. The pedestrian required three surgeries and had significant limitations with work as a teaching assistant and day-to-day living. The court awarded $1,064,682.07.
Turner v. Dionne, 2017 BSCS 1905; Turner v. Dionne, 2017 BCSC 1924
Brian Brooke and Jeffrey Nieuwenburg acted for the plaintiff, who was 19 at the time her injuries occurred. The plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a friend’s vehicle when that vehicle left the roadway and rolled. She sustained compression fractures to her thoracic vertebrae and a closed head injury. As a result of these injuries, the plaintiff developed a chronic pain condition and was unable to pursue her dreams of becoming a registered nurse. At trial, the defendant was found wholly responsible for the accident. The plaintiff was awarded damages of approximately $1.4 million.
Zwinge v. Neylan, 2017 BCSC 1861 (Branch J.)
Kevin Gourlay and Paul Bosco acted for a 46-year-old tradesman who was injured in a head-on collision. He was initially denied benefits by ICBC who said that it was a WCB issue. Having overcome that defence, the plaintiff proceeded to trial and recovered damages of $724,000, including $150,000 for pain and suffering and $400,000 for lost earning capacity.
Provost v. Bolton, 2017 BCSC 1608
Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein and Paul Bosco represented an RCMP officer who was significantly injured in the course of a pursuit after a thief stole a truck from a dealership lot. They successfully argued that not only was the driver at fault, but the dealership was as well for an employee having left the truck with the keys in the ignition, engine running, and doors unlocked in an unsafe neighbourhood. Prior to this, the law was on this issue was unsettled in Canada. They also successfully argued their client was not at all contributorily negligent for having removed his seatbelt prior to the collision in anticipation of pursuing the thief on foot.
Teunissen v. Hulstra, 2017 BCSC 1569
AT was a man who worked in the funeral services industry and who suffered serious back pain and spasms after a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately this chronic pain eventually led to the loss of his career. John Cameron of Murphy Battista assisted Mr. David Kolb of Kolb Law Corporation and together they represented AT in a trial in BC Supreme Court. AT achieved an award for compensation of $586,000 which was four times more than ICBCs best pre-trial offer. AT was awarded $110,000.00 for pain and suffering, $108,000 for diminished earning capacity up to trial, $320,000 for loss of future earnings, and $45,000 for the costs of future medical care.
Grewal v. Naumann, 2017 BCCA 158
The Defendants sought to appeal a successful judgment of $515,057 which was awarded to a young man who sustained soft tissue injuries and chronic pain. The Defendants challenged the awards for past and future loss of earning capacity arguing these could not be justified on the facts and were not adequately explained in the reasons for judgment by the trial judge. The BC Court of appeal dismissed the appeal and let the judgment stand.
McCrory v. Komar, No. N120671 Vancouver (Jury Trial)
Scott Stanley represented the Plaintiff, who sustained neck injuries from two car accidents which ultimately led to an inability to work. The Defendants claimed the injuries were minor; she was exaggerating or that the injuries were unrelated to the accidents. The Jury disagreed and awarded $373,600 in damages. Read the Trial Summary McCrory v. Komar.
Birkich v. Cantafio, 2016 BCSC 40
Bill Dick and Keri Grenier acted for a plaintiff who was 17 years old when she was struck in a crosswalk by a pickup truck driven by the defendant. The plaintiff’s principal issues following the injury included ongoing dizziness, headaches, anxiety and depression. At issue was whether the plaintiff suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, and whether her ongoing complaints were related to the accident or to other psychosocial stressors in her life as alleged by ICBC. After a two week trial the Court awarded damages totalling $347,581. The judgement included damages for loss of future earning capacity of $175,000.
Bricker v. Danyk, 2015 BCSC 2404
John Cameron and Brandon Souza acted for A.B., a 37-year-old professional resume writer who was injured in a rear-end motor vehicle accident. The accident left her with significant ongoing pain in her neck along with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. Her symptoms limited her ability to work and grow her business as she had prior to the accident. After a 3-week trial, the Court awarded damages totaling $352,000, plus costs. The judgment included damages for the plaintiff’s future lost earning capacity of $170,000. Prior to trial ICBC’s best offer was only half of the compensation which A.B eventually received.
Grassick (Guardian ad litem of) v. Swansburg, 2015 BCSC 2355
Joe Murphy, Kevin Gourlay, and Mike Murphy acted for the plaintiff who was 16 when he was hit by a young woman who was not paying attention while driving on Halloween night in 2008. He suffered a significant traumatic brain injury. Before the accident, he had been an exceptionally gifted young man. Although he remained intelligent and was attending university, he was plagued by fatigue and cognitive difficulties as a result of the accident that would significantly impact his ability to work as an engineer. The Court assessed damages at $3,297,000, including $3M for loss of future earning capacity
Sangra (Guardian ad litem of) v. Lima, 2015 BCSC 2350
Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein and Paul Bosco represented an 83 year-old plaintiff who sustained life-threatening injuries, including a brain injury and various fractures, when he was struck by a vehicle while standing at a bus stop. ICBC denied liability but court found that the driver’s testimony was “littered with enormous credibility issues.” The driver, who had fled the accident scene, was found fully at fault. The plaintiff was awarded over $800,000 at trial, including $315,000 for pain and suffering, over $400,000 for future care, and $55,000 in-trust for the care provided by his wife during his recovery. Due to the plaintiff’s age and injuries, the case was brought to trial quickly, with the trial judgment being made less than 2 years after the accident.
Rhodes v. City of Surrey, No. 127541 New Westminster Registry
The Plaintiff alleged the Defendant municipality was negligent in its winter maintenance of a stretch of road where the accident that injured the Plaintiff occurred. The Plaintiff claimed the accident had disabled her from working and most activities of daily living. The case went before a judge and jury and the jury found that while the parties shared liability the jury awarded the Plaintiff $3,576,600 in damages. The Jury also found the Plaintiff had failed to mitigate her damages. Read the Trial Summary.
Robinson v. Bud’s Bar Inc., 2015 BCSC 1767
This case involved a significant brain injury suffered by the plaintiff. The injury was the result of a shove in retaliation for the plaintiff teasing the defendant in the aftermath of a bachelor party. The BC court reviewed the law regarding liability in connection with stag parties and, in the result, awarded the firm’s client $790,000 in damages.
Millard v. Singleton, 2015 BCSC 1015
This case involved two young girls, who were 15 and 11 at the time of the accident. Both sustained spinal fractures and one was rendered a paraplegic. Both girls were passengers in their mother’s vehicle which was struck by another vehicle that crossed into their lane during a snow storm. The driver that crossed into their lane was found 100% at fault for the accident.
Larsen v. Moffett, 2015 BCSC 222 (Steeves J.)
Kevin Gourlay and Brandon Souza acted for for a 44-year-old general contractor who was injured in two rear-end motor vehicle accidents. The accidents left him with significant ongoing pain in his neck and back that limited his ability to work as he had prior to the accidents. After a 5-day trial, the Court awarded damages totaling $468,365, plus costs. The judgment included damages for the plaintiff’s future lost earning capacity of $285,845.
Afonina v. Jansson, 2015 BCSC 10
This case involved mild and moderate brain injuries sustained by two passengers when the driver of their vehicle lost control on the highway and crashed into a ditch. The court awarded $943,889.36 and $1,525,404.77, respectively.
Stroszyn v. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited, 2014 BCCA 431.
This was an appeal from a finding that a defendant driver was not insured under the insurance policy of a leasing vehicle. The Defendant driver only had a $1 million policy limit with ICBC but the Plaintiff’s damages were $1.6 million. The Plaintiff sought to obtain the additional $600k from the insurance policy of the leasing company. The Plaintiff was not successful at trial but succeeded on the appeal.
Walker v. Leung, 2014 BCSC 1623 (Chief Justice Hinkson)
Counsel for Plaintiff: Kevin Gourlay
Our client was a massage therapist who sustained soft tissue injuries to her back in left-turn accident. The defendant argued that our client was wholly or partially at fault for the accident. Chief Justice Hinkson found the defendant to be entirely at fault for causing the accident and awarded damages totaling $373,424. This included $190,000 for lost earning capacity as the plaintiff’s injuries would likely affect her future career as a medical doctor.
Wallman v. John Doe, 2014 BCSC 79 (Weatherill J.)
Counsel for Plaintiff: J. Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay
Our client was an emergency room doctor who sustained a concussion when he was rear-ended by a bus. Sadly, he was among the unlucky and statistically small minority of individuals who suffer long-term disabling symptoms as a result of a concussion. That concussion prevented him from being able to return to the practice of medicine. After a 29-day trial, he received judgment of just under $6,000,000 for damages, primarily resulting from his lost earning capacity as a doctor.
Vukelich v. Vliegenthart, 2013 BCSC 879 (Butler J.)
Counsel for Infant Plaintiffs: J. Scott Stanley and Tina Petrick
(Liability apportionment in “left turn” head on collision)
Van Tent v. Jake’s Contracting 2012 BCSC
Arndt v. The Ruskin Slo Pitch Association, 2011 BCSC 1530
Knight v. Li 2011 BCSC 184
(MVA apportionment of liability)
Lennox v. New Westminster (City) 2011 BCCA 182
(Successful defense of an appeal by the City of a decision finding the City was negligent and liable to compensate the plaintiff for injuries suffered when she tripped over an improperly maintained sidewalk.)
Falati v. Smith, 2011 BCCA 45
Laurie v. Smith 2011 BCSC
Beck v. Johnston Meier Insurance Agencies Ltd., 2010 BCSC 719
(Homeowner Insurance Policy coverage, negligence of broker. Damages awarded: $160,765)
Falati v. Smith, 2010 BCSC 465
Penner v. Silk 2009 BCSC 1682
(MVA personal injury damages. 51 year old client rear ended and in turn collided with the vehicle ahead of him. Soft tissue injuries including a knee injury. Damages awarded: $555,575.00)
Bradshaw v. Matwick 2009 BCSC 564
(MVA Personal Injury Damages. 41 year old client injured his neck, back and left knee in car accident. Injuries impaired client’s ability to return to work his normal job – Damages awarded of $268,389)
Thauli v. Corporation of Delta, 2009 BCCA 455
Peake v. Higo, 2009 BCSC 265
Martell v. Bastarche 2009 BSCS
Radke v. Perry 2008 BCSC 1397
Reyes v. Pascual, 2008 BCSC 1324
Notenbomer v. Andjelic, 2008 BCSC 509
Thauli v. Corporation of Delta, 2008 BCSC 437
*Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.