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 three young kids — a daughter and two sons –who keep us busy and grounded.
- UBC Faculty of Law, 2007
- McGill University BA, 2003
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 represented a client who was one of four people injured by a driver who lost consciousness and pressed the accelerator. The trial judge dismissed the case on the basis that the driver had an unexpected coughing episode. Kevin worked with appeal counsel who successfully overturned the lower court decision and awarded a new trial. The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge made a palpable (obvious) and overriding (significant) error in assessing the evidence of another passenger. This case illustrates the lengths that Murphy Battista LLP will go on behalf of their clients.
Paul Bosco and Kevin Gourlay represented a young woman who was struck from behind at high speed by a drunk driver and pushed across an intersection into a ditch. She sustained injuries to her neck, shoulders, back, and headaches, which persisted for many years despite a significant amount of treatment. She missed a few days from work, but generally pushed through her pain beyond that. The Court accepted Mr. Bosco and Mr. Gourlay’s argument that her ability to earn income in the future was negatively impacted as a result of her injuries despite having lost no income to date and having received several promotions and raises. The Court also agreed with Mr. Bosco and Mr. Gourlay that she was entitled to a significant award for pain and suffering, as well as an additional independent award for the impact on her ability to perform housekeeping tasks. In total, the Court awarded $124,000, including $85,000 for pain and suffering.”
Kevin Gourlay acted for two owners of a rental property in Maple Ridge. They thought they were properly insured but when a fire happened, they were denied coverage by their insurer because the home was between tenants and the policy said they had no coverage while the home was “vacant.” The plaintiffs brought a claim against their insurance broker for failing to advise them of the potential gaps in their coverage. The Court concluded that the broker was negligent and was the sole cause of the lack of coverage.
Kevin Gourlay and Stephen Gibson acted for a plaintiff who suffered persistent cognitive symptoms arising from a concussion / mild traumatic brain injury suffered in a 2014 motor vehicle accident. The defence disputed the nature of her injury and suggested it would only have a minimal impact on her ability to earn income. Counsel led evidence from family doctors, a physiatrist, a neuropsychologist, a physiatrist, a psychologist, and an occupational therapist in order to prove her injuries. The Court awarded the plaintiff damages of $428,272, including $140,000 for pain and suffering, $170,000 for lost future earning capacity, and $30,627 for future care.
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.
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.
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. The Court awarded damages of $91,700, including $60,000 for pain and suffering.
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.
Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay acted for the Plaintiff in this case involving 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.
Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay represented the Plaintiff who 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
News coverage of Correctional Services Canada proposed class action hearing (March 8-11, 2022)
March 10, 2022
Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor of our office are in the Federal Court of Canada this week for a certification hearing in a proposed class action against the Government of Canada on behalf of Canadian female corrections officers. The class action alleges their workplace is rife with gender-based harassment, sexual…Continue Reading
Press Release: Correctional Services Canada Class Action Certification Hearing
March 8, 2022
Today – International Women’s Day – marks the first day of a Federal Court of Canada hearing in a proposed class action against the Government of Canada on behalf of women who faced sexualized harassment, discrimination, assault and violence in the Correctional Services Canada (“CSC”) workplace. The hearing will take…Continue Reading
Correctional Services Canada class action certification hearing starts March 8, 2022.
March 7, 2022
The proposed class action is against the Government of Canada on behalf of women who faced gender-based harassment, discrimination and sexual violence while employed at Correctional Services Canada (“CSC”). It has been a long road, but tomorrow – on International Women’s Day – we commence our certification hearing at…Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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=”;]Continue Reading
Homeowner’s Insurance – Did You Get What You Paid For?
October 7, 2021
Most homeowners know that they need insurance to protect their most important asset – their home. However, most don’t know all the ins-and-outs of insurance. They rely on their insurance broker to help them with the process. This includes determining what kind of coverage they need and what potential gaps…Continue Reading
Recreational and Sports Injuries Caused by Someone’s Negligence
May 8, 2020
Every year an increasing number of Canadians participate in amateur recreational sports. In doing so, these participants, both children and adults, are assuming the inevitable risk of injury that comes with most sports. The question then arises: what are the legal rights of participants in sports when they are injured,…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
Kevin and his team, Christina and Virginia were incredibly supportive, kind and direct with me as I battled with ICBC for the fight of my life. I never felt as though I was alone. They held my hand when I needed it, reminded me of appointments and stood up for me against ICBC’s band of heavy weights; I always felt safe in their hands. I received a fair settlement and am able to get on with the business of living now and I can’t thank them enough. You will never regret putting your life in their hands, they are tough, experienced and amazing people.
My son and I worked with Kevin Gourlay and his team. We highly recommend this uniquely qualified team that really gets things right where it counts. Here are a few reasons why: 1. From working with another firm before coming to Mr. Gourlay and his team, and hearing from others in the field, we’ve learned that many other personal injury firms have a culture of settling before trial, and hardly ever actually go to court. It seems they’d much rather push their client to accept a low settlement offer than spend time going to court. The problem is that the other side knows this, and then often has little motivation to offer a fair settlement, knowing that they’ll never have to face your lawyer in court. Mr. Gourlay and his team have lots of experience going to court, and a published track record of wins, so they have no reason to avoid going to court. This gave us peace of mind because we knew that this could really help in getting a fair out-of-court settlement, and that in the worst case scenario of needing to go to court, we’d have a team who could handle it. Things turned out wonderfully in the end. 2. It was great having a lawyer that pushed to obtain the strongest medical evidence possible. In many cases, expensive medical reports are necessary to prove the full extent of injuries. Unless you have thousands of dollars in the bank, you’ll likely be dependent on your lawyer to cover the cost until you receive your payout. And while lawyers aren’t doctors, they often play a big role in deciding what to pursue, and what not to pursue in terms of medical reports, since they’ll have to shell out for them initially. It means a lot to have a lawyer who understands your story and isn’t afraid to spend the funds needed to prove it when needed. 3. Mr. Gourlay was very approachable, easy to talk to, and always made time for us. It’s very unpleasant having a lawyer who treats you like an inconvenience, especially when you suddenly find yourself in the middle of an injury claim you never wished for. Unfortunately, for some other firms that essentially operate as “settlement mills,” it’s just not worth it spending much time talking to clients–it’s a waste of time for them, as it doesn’t fit their business model of getting as many clients in and out the door, as quickly, and with as little effort as possible. Having worked with such firms before, it was a relief working with Mr. Gourlay–the difference was night and day. You can’t go wrong with this team. We’re so glad we chose them.
When the original lawyer (Thorsten Wessler) I had hired retired before my claim was settled, he worked to find me a replacement firm, and he chose Murphy Battista. The entire transition was very smooth between the two teams, and Kevin Gourlay, the lawyer who came in and had to get up to speed in a short time before my trial date, did a fabulous job. The whole team including Virginia were very responsive and helpful. I felt well prepared for every step of the legal process and was relieved to be able to avoid a trial and settle. In fact, one of my treatment providers made a point of telling me how professionally the Murphy Battista team handled her contributions (which she said is not often the case). She actually said “if I ever need a lawyer, I will use them. They were great do deal with!”. Most importantly, I felt like I had a top notch, fair negotiator who truly wanted a positive outcome for me. As a busy small business owner, it was a relief to work with people who were efficient and caring. Highly recommended.
Unfortunately in January 2018 I found myself in a difficult position that required legal representation. Having my brother do a lot of inquiries we came across Murphy Battista and met with Kevin Gourlay in the spring, after investigation of my situation he agreed to represent me ! I’m not going to bore you here with details but what I will say is this , Kevin and his team were fantastic! Conversation was easy ! They are all very professional organized and were well positioned to represent me ! Long story short Kevin did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be happier! I’m now in a position that’s allows me a quality of life I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy again but here I am ! Again , Thank you Kevin, Christine and Virginia! Ritchie Brennick January 14 2021
Professional, caring dedicated , hard working lawyers . Thank you Paul Bosco and Kevin Gourlay for representing my daughter in her ICBC trial. I was thoroughly impressed with you both and extremely happy to hear of the settlement outcome. Very grateful for your excellence in law and time and effort you spent on the case. Great team effort!! Would definitely recommend!!
Kevin Gourlay and his team were thoughtful, timely, and efficient. The experience and client care was excellent. I had met with other firms initially, and am really happy I instead selected Murphy Battista LLP. I strongly recommend Kevin Gourlay if you want results you will be happy with.
Had an amazing experience with Murphy Battista. Kevin was my lawyer, who I HIGHLY recommend. Went above and beyond to make sure everything was settled fairly and took his time to make sure I was happy with every outcome. An amazing firm that genuinely cares about you and your wellbeing as well!
Without hesitation I would recommend Kevin Gourlay to anyone in need of legal representation. Him and his team were extremely accommodating, respectful, and a pleasure to interact with. He definitely made me feel like a valued client, and took the time to consider and listen to my concerns and fears regarding my case. I felt that I was strongly represented thanks to Kevin’s experience and strong work ethic, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice to retain counsel from Murphy Battista. Thanks Kevin, and his team, Virginia and Christine for being so supportive and wonderful throughout a not so wonderful process.
While cycling I was struck by a car and seriously injured. My injuries negatively influenced every aspect of my life. The first law firm that represented me failed to take me seriously while leaving me belittled. None of my concerns were addressed in a meaningful way. I felt cheated. At that point, I didn’t have an advocate. A friend of mine whose wife works for a different law firm that handled ICBC claims actually referred me to Kevin. In what can only be described as a pronounced turnaround Kevin addressed and acted on my concerns while referring me to appropriate specialists. Kevin Gourlay is and experienced attorney and is respected by ICBC. His team managed my file and always acted expeditiously. I am forever grateful for the representations Kevin made on my behalf.
My attorney Kevin was wonderful. I cannot say enough great things about this law firm. When ICBC decided to no longer cover my physio and massage therapy, even though I was in an accident that was not my fault, Murphy Battista continued to cover the cost of my rehabilitation until my case was concluded. I would highly recommend this law firm to everyone that needs a professional and caring law firm.
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.
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.
Kevin Gourlay is an excellent lawyer and solid individual who listens well, works hard, does his homework and stands his ground. Top marks.
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.
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.
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.