Kevin was born and raised in Vancouver. He attended Point Grey Secondary School and then went to Montreal where he studied history and literature, graduating with a B.A. in 2003. He returned to Vancouver, receiving his law degree from UBC in 2007.
After law school, Kevin articled and practised with a leading insurance defence firm. He had the opportunity to work with some of the leading insurance defence practitioners and gained valuable experience in seeing how insurers defend claims. However, after joining Murphy Battista in early 2010, Kevin now acts exclusively for individuals that have been injured or had their rights infringed by insurance companies.
Of his work:
I feel very fortunate to get to do the work that I do. 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.
I also really enjoy insurance coverage cases. Oftentimes our clients have been wrongfully denied insurance coverage that they’re entitled to. In some cases this may be after a fire has destroyed their home. Other times a client may be unable to work but is being denied disability benefits. Just because an insurance company has said someone is not entitled to benefits does not mean the insurance company is correct. Insurers count on most insureds simply going away after being told they aren’t entitled to coverage. I enjoy fighting on behalf of my clients to ensure that where coverage is rightfully owed, benefits are promptly paid.
While most cases do settle, Kevin will proceed to court when required to obtain fair results for his client. Clicking on the “SUCCESSFUL CASES” tab above will take the reader to a variety of published cases in which Kevin has taken his clients’ cases to court.
Kevin is happily married with three young children that consume most of his time outside the office.
Click on the case names to read the full decisions:
- 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
- Larsen v. Moffett, 2015 BCSC 222 (Steeves J.)
Case description: Kevin 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.
- Walker v. Leung, 2014 BCSC 1623 (Chief Justice Hinkson)
Case description: 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.
- Wallman v. John Doe, 2014 BCSC 79 (Weatherill J.)
Case description: 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.
- Ladret v. Stephens, 2013 BCSC 1999 (Sigurdson J.)
Case description: Kevin Gourlay acted for a young woman and mother of three who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. At the time of trial, she continued to suffer from mid-back pain as a result of the accident.
Result: The Court awarded damages of $91,700, including $60,000 for pain and suffering.
- Peebles v. The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, 2013 BCCA 479
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Mawani v. Pitcairn, 2012 BCSC 1288 (Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Mawani v. Pitcairn, 2013 BCCA 338 (Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff/respondent)
Case description: The defendant/ICBC appealed the trial judge’s 50:50 liability split in the case described above, arguing that the trial judge had committed errors in finding him liable.
Result: The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and concluded the trial judge had made no error in finding the defendant 50% at fault for the accident.
- Kardum v. Asadi-Moghadam, 2011 BCSC 1566 (Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Taggart v. Heuchert, 2013 BCSC 1248 (Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Dosanjh v. Leblanc and St. Paul’s Hospital, 2011 BCSC 1660 (Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Kassem v. Barron et al., Vancouver Registry S095229 (Stephen Gibson and Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Jury trial
Case description: This proceeding involved 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.
Result: 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.
- Danicek v. Alexander Holburn et al., 2011 BCSC 1375 (Joe Murphy, Q.C. and Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Wallman v. ICBC et al., 2012 BCSC 1849 (J. Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Perry v. Ismail, 2012 BCSC 123 (J. Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
- Trites v. Penner, 2010 BCSC 882 (A. Kask and Kevin Gourlay, for the plaintiff) Judge alone
Case description: 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.
Result: 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.
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