Biography

For the past 20 years I have acted exclusively for people injured in car accidents and other cases where people are injured through the negligent or criminal acts of others. I have helped over 1500 people obtain compensation after injury. I have a very successful record taking matters to trial if the other side is not being reasonable. I have successfully conducted over 40 cases in BC Supreme Court and I have also taken cases successfully to the BC Court of Appeal. Several of my more interesting and successful results have been featured in the Vancouver Sun and on television. Click the Trial Results tab for information on the kinds of cases I have handled.

Pre-Law Background in Policing

I was born and raised in Vancouver. After graduating from Churchill High School I obtained a Criminology Diploma from Langara College and then worked as a loss prevention officer. In 1988 I joined the Vancouver Police Department. I worked as a patrol officer and then was transferred to Chinatown in 1991. I became very involved in police relations with the Chinese community and began studying Cantonese on my own initiative. By 1993 I was fluent enough to be the first North American police officer to travel to Hong Kong and attend the Hong Kong Police Cantonese School. In 1994 I wrote a series of articles published in the Vancouver Sun dealing with the problems posed by repeat offenders. This experience sparked my interest in studying law and I looked in to attending law school even though I did not have an undergraduate degree. I was accepted to UBC law school as a special exemption in 1995.

I continued to work as a police officer while studying law. I excelled in law school winning several scholarships and was awarded UBC’s overall outstanding student in 1997. In 1997 I returned to Hong Kong on exchange and studied law at Hong Kong University. While there I also completed the Hong Kong Government Advanced Cantonese Course in my spare time. As a result, I speak fluent Cantonese.

In 2000, I ended my police career and switched to working as a lawyer. I am honoured to have been awarded a medal from the Lieutenant Governor for my distinguished police service. After leaving the police I also authored Cantonese for Law Enforcement a field translation guide for police officers.

I have frequently presented to lawyers here and in the United States on effective trial techniques.

Education

  • UBC Faculty of Law, 1998
  • Hong Kong University Law, 1997
  • Hong Kong Government Advanced Cantonese Course, 1997
  • Hong Kong Government Intermediate Cantonese Course, 1993

Professional Associations

  • Trial Lawyers Association of BC
  • Vancouver Police Foundation

Languages

English, Cantonese

Career Highlights

  • Canadian mixed martial arts fighter who suffers career ending injury awarded $340,000
    JD was a MMA fighter who had made it to the UFC and who was working on fighting his way back to the Octagon. Before he could do so he was hit by a car while cycling. The Defendants said JD was 50% to blame for the accident and offered him $25,000 before Mr. Cameron took on the case. A jury found that the car driver was 90% to blame for the accident and awarded JD $340,00.
    Click to view CTV Vancouver news coverage
    Click to read Vancouver Sun article
  • BC Court of Appeal Says Jury “Got It Right” in their Verdict for Injured Boxer
    Mr. Cameron successfully represented Mr. Jegbefumere Bone Albert, a former champion boxer. After trial, a jury awarded the former Canadian boxing champion over $1 million, a far cry from the $50,000 ICBC was offering before trial. In 2008, Mr. Albert was a passenger in a car that swerved into a light standard after getting cut off on Canada Way in Burnaby. His right hand was smashed, which destroyed a career that had made him a national champion both in his home country of Nigeria and here in Canada. He had competed in the Olympics and won the Commonwealth Games gold medal and then clinched the Canadian senior men’s light heavyweight national champion in 2004. In 2006, he turned pro.
    Click to read the article in Boxing Insider here
  • Warranty woes drive car dealership customer to court
    CC bought a used Audi for $22,000. The dealership’s website indicated that all vehicles came with a seven-month, 11,000 km power train warranty. After 5 months the Audi engine failed and it required $15,000 in repairs. The dealership denied the existence of the warranty or claimed that it did not cover the problem with the car. Mr. Cameron took the case to trial and the Court ordered the dealership to pay CC $40,000 — the cost of the Audi plus all repair costs CC had incurred as well as the costs of bringing the matter to court.
  • Court compensates police officer for lost overtime opportunities
    VH was a young police officer who suffered injuries to her neck and back in a motor vehicle accident. Her injuries persisted in spite of medical treatment and her own best efforts at rehabilitation. Although she was able to continue working as a police officer, she could not take full advantage of the overtime opportunities which she had enjoyed working prior to the accident. Mr. Cameron worked with a co-counsel who he has partnered with on other cases, Mr. David Kolb, on this trial which was held in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Prior to the trial, ICBC offered VH $35,000. At trial VH was awarded over $125,000 in damages.
  • Semi-retired executive wins seven times ICBC’s offer (neck and shoulder injury)
    TW was a semi-retired executive who injured his neck and shoulder in a motor vehicle accident. ICBC chose to have TW’s case heard by a jury. Mr. Cameron represented TW and after the trial the jury awarded TW over $100,000 in damages, which was seven times the offer made by ICBC to settle prior to the trial.
  • Cyclist found blameless in intersection crash when hit by car turning left
    LH was a teacher who was injured when struck by a vehicle that turned left in front of her as she cycled in Vancouver. ICBC argued that she was 50% to blame for the accident because she had passed a line of stopped cars as she cycled and should have expected a car to possibly make a left hand turn. Mr. Cameron represented LH at trial and the Court found the left turning motorist 100% liable for the accident and for LH’s injuries.
  • Injured worker wins damages
    F.M. was a labourer who injured his shoulder, neck and arm in a motor vehicle accident. ICBC elected to have the trial heard by a jury. Mr. Cameron represented F.M. at the trial and the jury awarded him $74,000, double the best offer made to him prior to the trial. Jury trial †
  • Jury awards $100,000 in Low Velocity Collision case
    SC was a professional woman with high earnings. She was injured in a motor vehicle accident which ICBC classified as a Low Velocity Impact. ICBC chose to have the matter heard by a jury. Mr. Cameron worked with Mr. Richard Parsons of Collette Parsons to represent SC and she was awarded over $100,000 by the jury, almost triple the best offer made by ICBC prior to the trial. Jury trial †
  • Investment Advisor gets cash for lower back injury
    BH was an investment advisor who injured his lower back in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to consulting with Mr. Cameron, ICBC offered him $8,500 for his injuries. Mr. Cameron represented BH at trial and he was awarded over $40,000 in damages.
  • ICBC offers nothing, but marketing exec wins $35K for injury to back and shoulders
    CF was a young female marketing executive who injured her back and shoulders in a motor vehicle accident. ICBC denied her any compensation, claiming that her accident was the result of a “low velocity impact”. Mr. Cameron represented her in court and she received over $35,000 in compensation.

Trial Results

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.

John M. Cameron and Paul Bosco acted for Mr. Niessen, who was the sole proprietor of a plumbing-and-heating company. Mr. Niessen sustained significant injuries (head, neck, and lower back) when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle that crossed the centre line of a highway 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 had 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.

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 M. 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 ICBC’s 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.

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.

Mr. Cameron represented SG at trial in BC Supreme Court and she successfully achieved an award for compensation more than three times the insurer’s best pre-trial offer. She was awarded $120,000.00 for pain and suffering, $175,000.00 for diminished earning capacity and a past loss of earnings of $40,000.00. She was also awarded $10,000.00 for future cost of future medical care.

This was a related case to the case involving police officer EJ, noted above. In addition to obtaining compensation at trial for EJ’s injuries. EJ was also awarded compensation for approximately $10,000 of “sick bank” credits he had used while off work recovering from his injuries. ICBC appealed the decision regarding the sick bank credits but the BC Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and confirmed that ICBC was required to reimburse EJ for the loss of the credits.

YW an elderly woman, fell and broke her hip when a bus driver accelerated into traffic without waiting for her to be safely seated. The transit company refused to accept responsibility and offered her $1.00 to settle her case prior to trial. Mr. Cameron took the matter to trial in the BC Supreme Court and YW was eventually awarded over $100,000 in damages.

KPW was a construction worker who injured his back in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to trial ICBC was prepared to offer him only $42,000 for his injuries and the impact on his employment. Mr. Cameron took the matter to the BC Supreme Court and KPW was eventually awarded over $120,000 in damages for his injuries and lost earnings.

Mr. Cameron was co-counsel in Albert v. Politano, Vancouver Registry No. M104190where the BC Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by ICBC and upheld in its entirety a jury award of just over $1 million in damages for a talented boxer whose career was cut short after injuries sustained in a car accident.

Mr. Cameron represented EJ, a Vancouver police officer, who sustained injuries to his back and neck after his patrol car was rammed by a suspect in a stolen vehicle. EJ’s injuries compromised some of the overtime opportunities available to him in the police. Mr. Cameron represented EJ at trial in BC Supreme Court. Prior to the trial ICBC offered EJ $50,000. EJ was awarded over $120,000 at trial.

The Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision. She was ultimately diagnosed with fibromyalgia. At trial she was represented by David Kolb and Mr. Cameron. The trial judge awarded significant damages for diminished earning capacity despite the Plaintiff having been diligent and not missing any work up to the time of trial.
ICBC appealed arguing that the Judge erred in awarding these damages because the judge relied on “common experience that a person with a stable but persistent energy-draining (missing something) ICBC argued that this was speculative and there was no evidence to suggest this is so. While the Plaintiff’s total damages were reduced slightly at the appeal to $475,000, the BC Court of Appeal was quick to dismiss the above argument finding it was simply a matter of common sense that chronic pain takes its toll. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:[41] Accepting that, to use the expression used at trial and at the hearing of this appeal, Ms. Morlan’s condition had “plateaued”, the fact remains that she would forever suffer from debilitating chronic pain along with headaches, symptoms that could be reduced, but not eliminated, by medication. In other words, throughout each and every day of her life, Ms. Morlan would have to cope with some level of discomfort. In my view, it was open to the trial judge to find—essentially as a matter of common sense—that constant and continuous pain takes its toll and that, over time, such pain will have a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to work, regardless of what accommodations an employer is prepared to make.The Plaintiff was represented at trial by Mr. David Kolb and Mr. Cameron. Her appeal was conducted by Mr. Kolb, Mr. Cameron and senior appeal counsel, Mr. Barry Fraser.

KD was a university student who was injured when a vehicle she was riding in was struck by a stolen car. Her injuries affected her work as a lifeguard at the university pool and persisted after graduation as she entered the workforce. Prior to obtaining Mr. Cameron’s help she was advised that her case was a soft tissue injury, which ICBC valued at $6,500. Her case eventually went to trial and she was awarded over $100,000 in compensation.

CM was 46 years of age when involved in two motor vehicle accidents. She had worked steadily for 30 years before the accidents and had been very healthy. She was a high energy, motivated individual in all aspects of her life before the accidents. After the accidents she had to seek employment in a less demanding job and leaving a job she loved was a huge blow for her. After the accidents she was a different woman. Her energy was very low compared to what it was before. She developed fibromyalgia and was in constant pain, made endurable by taking large amounts of painkillers and nerve block drugs. ICBC offered to settle her case for $150,000 before trial. Mr. Cameron assisted Mr. David Kolb and took CM’s case to trial, where she was awarded $610,000 in damages.

IV was injured in two accidents. The damage to the vehicles was modest, but she suffered injuries to her neck, back and hips which did not improve. ICBC told IV that in their view her accidents were too minor to deserve any compensation. IV’s injuries persisted in spite of medical treatment by her family doctor and other therapy, and over time her condition deteriorated. Even though IV had health problems before the accidents, it was clear to her that the two car accidents had made her overall health much worse. Mr. Cameron represented IV in a trial in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The Court awarded IV more than $230,000 in damages plus compensation for the legal costs of fighting her case.

Years after her car was T-boned by a vehicle which had run a stop sign, SB still suffered from back and hip pain. Deeming ICBC’s offer of $10,000 in compensation as insufficient, SB took her case to Mr. Cameron, who brought the case to trial and helped her secure seven times that number in damages.

AF injured her back in a motor vehicle accident prior to becoming a police officer. Her injuries affected her training at the Police Academy and also limited some of the overtime opportunities available to her in the police. Mr. Cameron assisted another lawyer, Mr. David Kolb, in conducting a trial for A. in B.C. Supreme Court. Prior to the trial ICBC offered AF $15,000. AF was awarded over $85,000 at trial.

SR, a police officer, suffered injuries to his hips and lower back when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident while off-duty. His accident occurred while he was trying to cross a highway and was struck by another vehicle. A key issue in the case was who was at fault for the accident. ICBC took the position that SR was to blame for the accident. Mr. Cameron assisted SR at trial and the other driver was found to be 90% to blame for the accident. SR received over $125,000 in damages for his injuries.

JC was a fit young man whose knees were injured in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to consulting Mr. Cameron he had been offered $5,000 in compensation for his injuries. Mr. Cameron represented JC at trial and he was awarded over $45,000 in damages.

CL was a fit and active real estate agent who was injured when his vehicle was rear-ended. Prior to retaining John M. Cameron Law Corporation he was offered $10,000 in compensation by ICBC. The matter eventually went to trial and Mr. Cameron assisted CL in obtaining a damage award in excess of $75,000.

NG was a Starbucks barista who was injured when her vehicle was rear-ended. ICBC denied her any compensation on the basis of its low velocity impact program. Mr. Cameron took on her case and by the time of trial NG had become an RCMP officer. NG was awarded over $25,000 in compensation by the Court.

DH was a waitress/bartender who injured her knee in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to retaining John M. Cameron Law Corporation, she was offered a $500 settlement for what ICBC described as a minor soft tissue injury. Her case eventually went to trial and she was awarded over $65,000 in compensation. Mr. Cameron successfully proved that DH was also entitled to compensation for lost tips even though there were no formal records of the tips maintained at her work place.

Videos

The Law Show: Ep. 28: Homeowner, Life, and Disability Insurance

On this episode of The Law Show, Vancouver-based Murphy Battista lawyers Joe Murphy and John Cameron discuss homeowner and tenant insurance as well as life insurance and disability insurance. The two also take time to discuss and dispel the myths surrounding insurance fraud.

The Law Show: Ep. 27: ICBC Insurance: Things to Know

On this episode of The Law Show, Vancouver-based Murphy Battista lawyers Joe Murphy and John Cameron discuss the common things you should know about vehicle insurance, the difference between ICBC and private insurers and the importance of signing up for Underinsured Motorist Protection.

Community

John is also a proud supporter of:

  • BC Children’s Hospital
  • SPCA
  • Animal Rescue Shelter
  • Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey Association
  • Vancouver Police Foundation.

He enjoys working out, travelling and spending time with his long-time girlfriend Summer and his son.

Testimonials

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Sarah Draht
5

John and Summer were absolutely phenomenal to work with. They truly care about their clients and go the extra mile in everything they do. For me, a case that would have been very difficult to live through they provided incredible guidance and support and the result was incredible. They are passionate about their work, they believe in changing lives, and they care about every single client. I recommend them to everyone and anyone.

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B Nyce
5

Personal referrals and word of mouth in my opinion have always been the most reliable sources. I also must add the refreshing atmosphere and complete down to earth attitude from this firm’s personnel, especially from John and Summer. They both seemed to be driven by the passion for genuinely helping people which I believe is the secret to this firms success. Thank you all so very much!

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Cherie Duggan
5

John Cameron and his team are outstanding. As I client dealing with ICBC, I can tell you that John is extremely skilled in dealing with a large corporation. When ICBC called Discovery after Discovery, and I had just about given up, it was John who assured me that our case was solid. Summer Kelly, John’s designated Paralegal, is amazing in her organizational skills and getting results quickly on various issues. What a superb team!

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Jason Day
5

John, Summer and their staff were amazing to work with. John was my lawyer for an accident I was in and they made sure all my bases were covered before, during and after the trial. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking legal council.

There are a lot of legitimately injured people, nice people from all walks of life, who come to me for help. I’m talking about police officers, fire fighters, people who don’t like to complain –  they often tell me, “Look I’m injured and ICBC doesn’t believe me.” I find it very satisfying to help these people and I have come to realize that the danger isn’t the random, odd person trying to rip off the system, the danger is when honest, injured people are treated badly by some insurance company that looks at everyone like they are not being honest.

Having worked for 12 years as a police officer in the criminal justice system, I often found myself frustrated by how victims had no say in the outcome of their case and how the rules seemed slanted towards the accused. In the civil justice system, as a plaintiff or injured person you have a key role in how your case goes. You work as a team with your lawyer, and we can get justice because the system is balanced. There is no advantage to us or the other side, it’s all based on fairness to both sides. Coming from the police world that’s a huge improvement for me and I really get a lot of satisfaction out of that.

John M. Cameron

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