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3 Million Dollar Personal Injury Award in Golf Club Wielding Brain Injury Case

Brain Surgery needed after blow to head


A Maple Ridge man with no lawyer now owes over 3 million dollars after court finds that he intentionally hit the injury claimant in the head with a golf club resulting in a severe skull fracture and traumatic brain injury(Saether v. Irvine, 2011 BCSC 1497) . The  altercation occurred in front of a home in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.  
The claimant was travelling westbound on 117th Avenue and as he passed through an intersection at 209th Street, he  felt something strike their vehicle so he turned around. His passenger jumped out of the vehicle and started fighting with a man on the lawn of the defendant’s home. The claimant got out of his car and approached the fight when defendant, wielding a golf club with a two-handed grip, swung it at the claimant. The head of the club struck the right side of the claimant’s head and crushed his skull.  
The judge found that it was clear that this was an intentional act and not negligent and stated at para 68,” Based upon the analysis which I have just explained, I am satisfied that the matter at bar is most appropriately understood within the context of the intentional tort analysis. I do not find it necessary to examine the matter in the context of the negligence analysis. The striking of the blow was an intentional act, not an act of negligence  
[77] After being admitted to hospital following the assault, a surgical procedure was performed to elevate the area of the skull that had been depressed by the blow from the golf club. The wound was treated and the lining of the brain was repaired. Initially matters appeared to be progressing favourably. Approximately one week later, there was a significant complication: the plaintiff developed a large intracerebral haemorrhage which required a second major brain surgery. That procedure found bone fragments deep in the brain matter in conjunction with the haemorrhage. The plaintiff’s recovery following that event was long, difficult and limited. Initially, he required tube-feeding and complete personal care. His speech was impaired and breathing was such that he required an operation for respiratory support. He had profound left-side paralysis. A further complication was the development of pneumonia.  
This case is a reminder of  how important it is to have a personal injury lawyer representing you in a Supreme Court case in British Columbia. The person being sued did not have a lawyer and presented no evidence to refute the claimant’s medical evidence. The claimant, on the other hand, hired a competent personal injury lawyer and was able to achieve an excellent financial outcome in a tragic circumstance.  
The court went on the award compensation as follows:  
(a)      Pain and suffering–                              $300,000  
(b)      Past income loss –                                   $405,800  
(c)      Loss of future earning capacity –     $1,375,000  
(d)      Cost of future care –                              $1,075,000  
(e)      Out-of-pocket expenses –                    $42,976.66  
          TOTAL:                                                   $3,198,776.66  
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness

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