After suffering injuries in what ICBC referred to as a low velocity impact car accident the trial judge awarded the claimant $115,975 for cost of future care in addition to awards for pain and suffering and out of pocket expenses. Read my review of the trial judge decision.
The BC Court of Appeal has reduced the award for cost of future care(Gignac v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 351) as the trial judge failed to set out the analysis and make the appropriate contingency reductions. This case does not change the law and reiterates that the purpose of the award for costs of future care is to restore, as best as possible with a money award, the injured person to the position he or she would have been in had the accident not occurred.
The award has to be based on what is reasonably necessary on the medical evidence to promote the mental and physical health of the plaintiff . According to the Court of Appeal the trial judge however failed to perform an analysis of each item sought by the claimant with respect to whether there was some evidentiary link between the physician’s assessment of pain, disability and recommended treatment and the care recommended by a qualified health professional. That failure was found to be a legal error.
The Court ofAppeal therfore went through each of the 10 items in dispute and reduced the cost of future care award by $44,905 for a total award of $71,070, subject to a further contingency which reduced the total to 70,400.
Issue: Does this decision create an unnecessary burden on the trial judge to spell out every legal analysis used?
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.