Biography

I act on behalf of individuals that need help. This often involves people that have been injured through motor vehicle accidents, medical mishaps, or other accidents. I also work for people that have been wrongfully denied coverage by their insurance company on a range of matters from losing their homes in a fire to being denied the security promised by their long-term disability benefits provider. In either instance, the best part of my work is being able to help individual people who are going through a very difficult time in their life and playing a role in getting their life back on track.

I have had the good fortune of working on behalf of many exceptional clients. While the vast majority of cases settle, when the other side is not willing to negotiate fairly and pay what a claim is worth, we are ready and able to take cases to trial. Some of the cases that I have taken to trial or appeal are available on my Trial Results tab in my bio. These include professionals who have suffered life changing brain injuries, individuals who have lost their homes in a fire and had an insurer deny them coverage, and working people who are living with chronic pain due to an accident.

Born and raised in Vancouver, I have lived here my entire life (with the exception of 4 years in Montreal for my undergrad at McGill). My wife and I have a daughter and two sons, all under 6, who keep me busy and grounded.

Education:

  • UBC Faculty of Law, 2007
  • McGill University BA, 2003

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.

Kevin Gourlay and Paul Bosco acted for a 46-year-old tradesman who sustained injuries to his head, neck and back in a head-on collision. The plaintiff also claimed compensation for psychological injuries. 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.

Joe Murphy, Q.C., 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.

Kevin Gourlay was counsel 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 totalling $468,365, plus costs. The judgment included damages for the plaintiff’s future lost earning capacity of $285,845.

Kevin Gourlay acted for 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 totalling $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.

Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay acted for the plaintiff, 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.
Result: 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.

In this appeal, Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay acted for two homeowners that were denied coverage by their insurance company, Wawanesa, after their house was destroyed by a furnace explosion. Wawanesa took the position that they were not entitled to coverage because the home had been “vacant” for more than 30 days and because they had not notified Wawanesa of a “material change” in circumstances. The homeowners lost at trial with the trial judge upholding Wawanesa’s denial of coverage. Scott and Kevin took the file over after trial and were successful in having the Court of Appeal reverse the trial judge’s finding on the basis of a 1932 Supreme Court of Canada decision that had not been given to the trial judge.

Kyla Taggart was 10 years old when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle as she attempted to cross the road outside her elementary school. Kyla was in or near an unmarked crosswalk. The defendant took the position that the accident was not her fault and that Kyla’s mother was partially to blame for allowing Kyla to walk home. The Court agreed that the accident was 100% the fault of the defendant driver after accepting evidence that cars in the curb lane had stopped to allow Kyla to cross the road.

Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein successfully opposed an attempt by ICBC to try and accept a settlement offer that had been, according to the court, “clearly and unequivocally revoked.”

This case involved an emergency room doctor that was injured in a rear-end accident which resulted in a mild traumatic brain injury that prevented him from being able to practice medicine. The trial was scheduled to be heard over 35 days. At issue on this application was whether the defendants were entitled to have the trial heard by a jury rather than a judge sitting alone. We were successful in arguing that the matter was better decided by a judge sitting alone and the court ordered that the defendant’s jury notice be struck. While jury trials can be the best method of determining the parties’ respective rights, a 35-day trial on a non-criminal matter would be very rare and difficult to manage.

On a dark and foggy morning in February, 2007, the plaintiff was hit on Steveston Highway. Because of his serious injuries, our client had no recollection of the accident. The only witnesses were the defendant and his passenger but the passenger sadly passed away shortly after the accident (and unrelated to the accident). The question was whether the defendant driver was partially at fault for hitting the plaintiff who was admittedly dressed in dark clothing and on the highway when the accident occurred. The Court found that the defendant was 50% responsible for the accident. We were able to demonstrate that the defendant was driving too fast for the foggy conditions and that he was driving far too close to the curb in the over-sized curb lane; the side of his vehicle was almost in the gutter and he was driving in an area of the highway where one would routinely see cyclists.

The plaintiff was injured in a rear-end motor vehicle accident. The defendant argued that the plaintiff had cut him off and was responsible for the accident. The defendant also disputed the magnitude of the plaintiff’s injuries. The Court found that the defendant was responsible for the accident as the plaintiff was established in the lane before being hit by the defendant. The defendant simply failed to see what he ought to have seen: the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff’s evidence that he had suffered soft tissue injuries to his shoulder, neck and back was accepted. Damages of just under $50,000 were awarded, including $42,500 for pain and suffering.

Our client had suffered a stroke during open heart surgery caused by an air embolism entering her blood stream. The defendants disputed their liability for the injuries alleged as well as the severity of the consequences of the stroke. On this application, the defendants sought an order compelling our client to produce all content from her Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as documents from her hard drive, iPhone, and digital camera. The court accepted our argument that it must balance disclosure with privacy rights and, in this case, there was no reason to invade the plaintiff’s privacy. The judge held: “I am unable to envisage any rational justification for breaching the privacy rights of an individual in civil proceedings simply because it is alleged that the individual’s general health, enjoyment of life and employability are directly at issue. Merely because a record may be made of the communication shouldn’t make it any different than a private telephone conversation. If not, surely applications in civil proceedings for recordings of private communications can’t be far behind.” This does not mean social media will not commonly have to be produced – one should always assume that everything they put on the internet can become public.

We acted for a young architect who was injured in two motor vehicle accidents. The other drivers in each accident admitted that they were at fault but challenged the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. The court accepted that the plaintiff had suffered serious long-term soft tissue injuries in the accidents and awarded damages of over $190,000. That included awards of $70,000 for pain and suffering and $90,000 for lost earning capacity.

This was an application regarding costs following a 29-day trial in which the plaintiff had been awarded nearly $6,000,000 in damages following a fall at a night club that had resulted in a mild traumatic brain injury. The court concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to her costs from the defendant insurer despite the insurer not being obligated to indemnify the plaintiff for her losses.

Jury trial involving a 50-year-old mechanic from Lebanon who had immigrated to Vancouver in 1990. He was injured in two motor vehicle accidents which resulted in a herniated disc in his back. That injury prevented him from being able to work as he had previously. The defendants denied that the plaintiff had ongoing disabilities arising from the accidents. After a three-week trial in front of a jury, the jury awarded Mr. Kassem damages of $544,166, including $490,000 for lost earning capacity.

The plaintiff was a young plumber injured in a motor vehicle accident. The defendant admitted fault for the accident but suggested the plaintiff’s injuries were not as disabling as alleged. The court agreed that the plaintiff had suffered significant injuries that would have a long-term impact on his ability to work as a plumber. Damages of over $400,000 were awarded, including $75,000 for pain and suffering, $250,000 for lost future earnings, and $76,000 for future care needs.

In the News

Kevin Gourlay discusses liability for Stanley Park causeway tragedy with CBC anchor Andrew Chang

April 1, 2015

Kevin Gourlay discusses liability for Stanley Park causeway tragedy with CBC anchor Andrew Chang.

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Kevin Gourlay interviewed by CKNW AM 980 host Simi Sara

August 20, 2013

“Are establishments liable to victims of crimes that occur on their premises? The Jonathan Bacon shooting.” Kevin’s segment begins about the 18 minute mark. Click the Play button below to listen now, or download the audio file in MP3 format. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”;]…

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Insights

Distracted driving kills. It’s #Notworthit. Join the Campaign.

April 5, 2017

As personal injury lawyers we are reminded on a daily basis that distracted driving is a huge problem in our wired world and one that is costing lives. Distracted driving: the statistics and the neuroscience Distracted driving is now responsible for more motor vehicle deaths than drunk driving. The neuroscience…

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What Is A “Reasonable Offer to Settle” – Kostecki v. Li, 2015 BCSC 1356

August 4, 2015

Reasons today from Mr. Justice Schultes to deal with costs following a trial where the plaintiff was awarded $49,000. The plaintiff had made two formal offers to settle, the first for $45,000 and the second for $30,000, and was seeking double costs. When considering whether to award a successful plaintiff…

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Law Talk: A Common Sense Approach to ICBC Part 7 Benefits with Kevin Gourlay

July 24, 2015

Kevin Gourlay’s recent seminar on ICBC Part 7 Benefits provides a straightforward review of the benefits you are entitled to if you have been in a car accident whether or not you are at fault for causing the accident. The availability of the benefits, even if you are partially responsible…

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Kevin Gourlay Discusses Liability for Stanley Park Causeway Tragedy with CBC Anchor Andrew Chang

April 1, 2015

I was recently asked to sit down with Andrew Chang of the CBC to discuss the 2013 untimely death of Antonina Elzbieta Skoczylas. Ms. Skoczylas tragically passed away after being struck by a bus while cycling on the Stanley Park causeway. This week it was announced that Ms. Skoczylas’ family…

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A Former Quarterback’s Concussion Experience

October 27, 2014

Kevin Kolb is an NFL quarterback best known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals.  He is now 30 years old and is not on an NFL roster this year having been released by the Buffalo Bills in March. In a Sports Illustrated story last week, Kolb writes…

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Road Maintenance Claims — Kelly v. Perth (County)

September 17, 2014

We frequently act in claims where individuals have suffered injuries as a result of terrible road conditions.  Particularly in this country with our weather conditions, perfection in road maintenance is not the standard but the responsible parties must exercise reasonable care in the performance of their duties. The consequences of…

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Videos

The Law Show: Ep. 40: Legal vs Justice Systems and Caps on Catastrophic Injuries

On this episode of the Law Show Vancouver-based Murphy Battista lawyers Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay discuss the legal system vs the justice system. Also, instances where the legal system isn’t fair and caps for catastrophic injuries, such as brain or spinal cord injury.

The Law Show: Ep. 39: Concussions and Brain Injuries, Car Technology and Personal Injury

On this episode of the Law show Vancouver-based Murphy Battista lawyers Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay discuss concussions and brain injuries, if advancements in car technology will lead to a reduction in personal injury cases, and the importance of hiring a lawyer who has experience going to trial for brain…

The Law Show: Ep. 12: Evidence, Finding a Lawyer and Starting an ICBC Claim

Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay discuss the importance of expert and lay witnesses evidence on pre and post accident behaviours in brain injury cases as well as the types of cases and circumstances where people should seriously consider getting a lawyer. They also discuss how Murphy Battista helps clients while they are waiting…

The Law Show: Ep. 4: Nuts and Bolts of Insurance Law Coverage

Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay talk about the nuts and bolts of insurance law with a focus on what your insurance policy covers and more importantly what it does not cover. They also discuss what to watch out for in insurance policies and why certain claims get denied.

The Law Show: Ep. 3: Types of Claims and Types of Insurance

The Law Show: Ep. 3: Types of Claims and Types of Insurance
Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay discuss the limits on the protection you get from insurance companies particularly with respect to travel and disability insurance policies and the most common reasons claims are denied. They also discuss typical insurance company tactics in handling claims and explain how contingency fees work.

Testimonials

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Edward Guest
5

I was recommended Murphy Baptista by a family friend and met with Joe Murphy and Kevin Gourlay for a consultation. From the start I was taken seriously and I felt welcome and understood. After suffering a head injury they were both helpful and patient in gathering information and collating my evidence. Kevin and his team, Viginia and Christine, were outstandingly diligent and I am so very appreciative of their help, guidance, honesty and support in my action.

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Caitlyn Therrien
5

I have only great things to say about my experience with Murphy and Battista LLP. My mom had Joe Murphy as her personal injury lawyer following an MVA more than 30 years earlier, when I was in a car accident and needed a lawyer in Vancouver, my mom called Mr. Murphy and he referred us to Kevin Gourlay, and I am so happy he did. Over the 5 years as my car accident lawyer – Kevin, Virginia, and team supported me and helped me through almost every aspect of my case and recovery. Their professionalism, kindness, and compassion helped me through the difficulties that come with recovering from an MVA and dealing with an ICBC case. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without them, and was lucky to have had them on my case.

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gord kukec
5

Kevin Gourlay is an excellent lawyer and solid individual who listens well, works hard, does his homework and stands his ground. Top marks.

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Stirling Grassick
5

I was involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident that changed my life significantly. My personal injury case went to trial where I was represented by Kevin Gourlay, Joe Murphy, and Mike Murphy. The result of the trial was far better than I, or my lawyers, had expected. Throughout my rehabilitation, my dealings with ICBC, the preparation for my mediation and trial, and the trial itself, Kevin Gourlay and Joe Murphy displayed incredible knowledge, skill, professionalism, and compassion. They maintained excellent communication, always kept me in the loop, and addressed any questions or concerns that I had. I was able to arrange phone conversations at any time and I always felt that I was a top priority of theirs. I always knew that I was in great hands with Murphy Battista, and that allowed me to maintain considerable peace of mind during what would normally be a stressful and unpleasant process. I could not recommend Murphy Battista enough.

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Becky Kumar
5

I am very thankful I was referred to Kevin Gourlay at Murphy Battista for my long term disability case. Kevin is the rare combination of compassionate, brilliant and tough exactly the kind of lawyer you need. He succeeded in winning a positive outcome for my case and my life. I am eternally gratefully to him and his team at Murphy Battista. After a bad experience with another law firm, I knew right away switching was the best decision. Unlike my previous lawyer, Kevin was quick to respond, listened carefully and had a clear strategy. He demonstrated patience and kindness as I dealt with intense pain and emotions. Exhausted, I was so thankful to pass over my legal worries to someone I could trust. The insurance system is banking on you to give up. Instead hire a great lawyer and show them we won’t be bullied. I highly recommend both Kevin Gourlay and the firm of Murphy Battista.

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Raymond A
5

Kevin Gourlay is an amazing lawyer and a genuinely caring person. Kevin is a subject matter expert who knows the law, which is evident based on the respect he gets from defence counsel. With Kevin as my lawyer I could focus on my recovery without worry about my lawsuit. I am greatful for the work he and his team did on my lawsuit and I am very happy with my settlement. I have no hesitation in recommending Kevin as a personal injury lawyer. I made the mistake of going to another large firm in Vancouver when I was first injured. A complete disaster. I made the switch to Kevin Gourlay at Murphy Batista, best thing to happen to me and my lawsuit. Kevin took the time to listen to my concerns, told me the risks with my case and the chances of success, was very responsive to my emails and voice mails (as was his entire staff) and never once did I feel awkward in communicating with Kevin and his staff. They always made time for me and addressed fully any questions or concerns I had. Thank you Kevin.

Much of my work involves getting to know clients that have been injured in accidents. Without exception, the main initial goal is to get the client back to as close to their pre-accident condition as is possible. This involves helping to see they get the necessary treatment, coordinating between their treatment providers, and helping ensure they get to see the right specialists. Once that’s done, then our job is to ensure they get fair compensation for their losses. We’ll never be able to undo the accident but we hope to minimize its consequences. The best part of my work is being able to help individual people who are going through a very difficult time in their life and playing a role in getting their life back on track.

Kevin Gourlay

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