Awan v. Canada (Attorney General), 2010 BCSC 942
July 26,2011- The injury claimant was an Army Cadet participating in field training during a weekend exercise being conducted by the Cadet Corp at Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack. She was injured while participating in a demonstration of the playing of a game called “Stick In The Middle” for the benefit of younger cadets. She toppled over and a small stick or stem of grass entered her left ear. The results for the claimant include hearing loss, tinnitus and balance difficulties.
In dismissed the claim the Court found that neither the training nor commanding officers were negligent and stated:
” Conduct is negligent if it creates an unreasonable risk of harm (Mustapha v. Culligan of Canada Ltd., 2008 SCC 27, paragraph 7). I find that the standard of care observed by all concerned in the case at bar was that of a reasonable and prudent parent and created only a slight and acceptable risk of minimal harm encompassing bumps, bruises, and scrapes be the conduct that resulted in the bump, bruise or scrape, a stumble or a tug on a rope, i.e., conduct within the rules or a push, i.e., conduct contrary to the rules. The fact that a push resulted in not a bump, bruise or scrape but serious injury does not translate into a finding that an unreasonable risk of harm had been created by either of the two named defendants or anyone else of interest here such as the Civilian Instructors.”
The court also found that the case had been filed out of time under section 269(1) of the National Defence Act, which requires the lawsuit to be filed within six months after the act, neglect or default complained of or, in the case of continuance of injury or damage, within six months after the ceasing thereof.
As of the date of this article this case has not been overturned and is considered good law. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should the standard of care required by army officers caring for young cadets be greater than that required of a parent?