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

You can watch an interview with Mr. Cameron where he speaks Cantonese below.

Career Highlights

Mr. Cameron has conducted over 40 successful ICBC trials in BC Supreme Court before both judges and juries. He has also appeared as counsel in the Court of Appeal. These are some of his more notable cases:

  • Niessen v. Emcon Services Inc., 2018 BCSC 1410
    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.
  • Albert v. Politano, Vancouver Registry No. M104190
    Mr. Cameron was co-counsel in Albert v. Politano, Vancouver Registry No. M104190 where a jury awarded a boxer with a very promising career over $1 Million in damages for career-ending injuries for a motor vehicle accident. This was 20 times the amount the insurance company had assessed his losses at. That award was upheld in its entirety by the BC Court of Appeal.
  • 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 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 $586,000which 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.
  • 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.
  • Suzanne Marie Giczi v. Sandip Kandola, 2014 BCSC 0508
    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.
  • Wong v. South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, 2013 BCSC 1118
    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.

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 Cameron and Paul Bosco acted for A.G. who sustained injuries to her neck, back, shoulder, and arm, as well as headaches in a motor vehicle accident. A.G. was a very fit and active young woman at the time of her injury. Her injuries impacted her ability to work at full capacity as a yoga instructor and as a high-intensity fitness instructor.

In addition to advocating for fair compensation for A.G.’s injuries, one of the main issues at trial for Mr. Cameron and Mr. Bosco was fair compensation for the impact of her injuries on A.G’s employment in the fitness training industry.

Ultimately the Court awarded A.G. over $140,000 in compensation. This was over three times the amount ICBC had offered her before trial, and more than 10 times the amount she was offered before she obtained the assistance of Mr. Cameron and Mr. Bosco.

John Cameron and Paul Bosco acted for Mr. Welder, who sustained injuries to his neck, headaches, and concentration difficulties after a motor vehicle accident. His injuries impacted his life, particularly his ability to continue to work as a tower crane operator, a job he had enjoyed and performed for over 30 years prior to his injuries. One of the main issues at trial was quantifying the losses to Mr. Welder, as he had put together a successful company after his injuries and was employing others to do the tower crane work he had previously done himself. ICBC argued that, as Mr. Welder’s company was now so successful, he should be not be awarded any earning capacity losses for the loss of his ability to operate a tower crane. However the judge accepted John and Paul’s arguments and awarded Mr. Welder damages for lost past and future income. The Court found that Mr. Welder had unquestionably suffered a loss of the ability to perform a job that he was very good at and such a loss has economic value. The Court ultimately awarded Mr. Welder over $450,000 in compensation, including damages for loss of earning capacity, an award which was significantly more than ICBC offered before trial.

Kevin Gourlay, John Cameron and Paul Bosco represented an RCMP officer who was injured when he was rammed multiple times by the driver of a stolen pick-up truck who was attempting to avoid arrest. T.S. was a highly regarded and successful officer who suffered persistent post-concussion symptoms that had a devastating effect on his health, his family life, and his work as a police officer..

After a three week trial in which the defendant took the position the case should be dismissed, the jury deliberated for two days before delivering a verdict well in excess of $1M.

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. M104190 where a jury awarded a boxer with a very promising career over $1 Million in damages for career-ending injuries for a motor vehicle accident. This was 20 times the amount the insurance company had assessed his losses at. That award was upheld in its entirety by the BC Court of Appeal.

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.

In the News

John Cameron goes to the mat for injured aspiring MMA fighter

June 17, 2015

John Cameron’s successful representation of aspiring MMA fighter Jason “Dooms” Day, was covered by the Vancouver Sun and CTV News. Jason “Dooms” Day was awarded nearly $340,000 after being hit by a Range Rover while riding his bike across Oak Street at 10th Avenue in Vancouver. Click the thumbnail to view…

Continue Reading

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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