Alex was born and raised in Ottawa as one of four children of parents who immigrated to Canada. Alex went to McGill University in Montreal, earning a science degree. An avid skier, Alex decided a change of scenery was in order, and traveled to the mountains of B.C. for law school in Vancouver. The plan was to return to Ontario once he had his law degree in hand. Like many visitors to B.C., the plan to leave B.C. was quickly abandoned. After graduating from UBC Law School in 1994, Alex stayed put in B.C.
Throughout his career Alex has been a litigator. Prior to joining Murphy Battista, he worked primarily for defendants and their insurers, becoming a partner in one of Canada’s most well regarded defence firms. During this time, Alex gained over 14 years of experience in medical malpractice – work that included defending hospitals, dentists, psychologists and chiropractors. He often acted on claims involving municipalities and regularly worked on motor vehicle and occupiers liability claims. He has practiced at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to moving to Murphy Battista, where he now only acts on behalf of persons injured, Alex taught insurance law at UBC Law School. He has regularly been a speaker at Continuing Legal Education trial advocacy courses.
When not at work, Alex’s main focus is his family. This includes coaching of sports teams, family Sun Run training and coming up with new ways to force the kids to do their piano practices.
Some of Alex's recent personal injury case results include:
- 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.
- 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.
- Provost v. Bolton and Dueck Downtown Chevrolet, 2016 BCSC 2255: Alex acted for a police officer injured by a truck stolen from the Dueck Downtown car dealership in Vancouver. The dealership had left the truck unattended for about 40 minutes with the engine running and doors unlocked prior to it being stolen. Dueck was sued in negligence. The court dismissed Dueck’s summary trial application in which it argued that Dueck, even if negligent, should not be found liable for injuries caused by the car thief.
- 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.
- Laudret v. Stephens, 2013 BCSC 2278 (CanLII): Alex successfully opposed an attempt by ICBC to try and accept a settlement offer that had been, according to the court, “clearly and unequivocally revoked.”
In addition to his personal injury litigation experience, Alex has acted for clients in other litigation matters. A sample of his case results includes:
After experiencing an incident with a doctor, health practitioner or hospital many people know something is amiss but they are not sure what questions they should be asking their lawyer beyond whether they have a medical malpractice claim. To help put these situations in context here are five questions and answers that provide important background…
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