R.R.S. v. M.D.F.T., 2020 BCSC 1235
Student assaulted outside his Delta high school more than 10 years ago was been awarded nearly $500,000 in damages
John Cameron acted as counsel for RSS. On April 15, 2009, RSS, who was 14, was attacked moments after he left the grounds of Delta Secondary School on his way home. Two men, one or both wielding telescopic metal batons, jumped out of a vehicle driven by the Defendant, ran after RSS and assaulted him at the direction of the Defendant. The Court heard that the assault on RSS, who is now 26, was said to be revenge for a high-school spat with the Defendant’s younger son, also a student at the school, over a female student.
RSS suffered a cracked nose, a concussion and bruising throughout his body. He suffered headaches for the first six months after the attack and also experienced paranoia, anxiety and depression. The Defendant was found guilty in provincial court of two counts of assault causing bodily harm after a judge concluded he was the directing mind behind the assault on RSS. His appeal was dismissed.
RSS sued the Defendant for damages. At trial, the Defendant argued that while RSS was injured in the attack, the injuries healed quickly with no lasting effects.
After trial the B.C. Supreme Court found that RSS had been left with chronic pain that caused frequent, severe and disabling headaches, which continued to affect his mood and caused mental health problems.
“The battery has left him anxious and depressed, fearful for his safety and that of his family, hypervigilant, socially withdrawn and caused him to suffer suicidal ideation and panic attacks,” said the judge.
The Court awarded RSS a total of $479,376 in damages including $125,000 for pain and suffering, $236,000 for loss of future income earning capacity, $65,000 for past lost earning capacity, $35,000 for aggravated damages and $15,000 for the cost of future care.