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Metal Pole to the Head Lands $297,000 Award for Inner Ear Injury

Drunken_RageFueled by a drunken rage, the defendant drove over to the claimant’s house in Mission B.C. armed with a metal pole intent on inflicting grievous bodily harm. The claimant said that the truck came bouncing down the driveway towards the house with its horn honking. A fight ensued in which the claimant suffered a serious blow to the head. It was this outrageous conduct for which the defendant was held fully responsible not only in criminal court but in the civil personal injury proceedings as well.
This injury claimant was awarded almost $300,000 after being hit over the head with a metal pole. $75, 000 of the award was for the resulting pain and suffering from permanent but mild inner ear injury (MacKay v. Jhulley,2015 BCSC 1114).
The claimant was however not completely blameless. By leaving the safety of his house and presenting himself unarmed in front of the defendant, was found to have “recklessly endangered himself”. The judge found that the claimant’s disregard for his own physical safety was  a contributing cause of the injuries he ultimately sustained. In finding the claimant 15% at the the court stated,

[32]  In my view, however, the vast majority of fault for this incident and for the injuries sustained by [the claimant] lies with [the defendant] He formed the intent to inflict injury and carried out that intent in a vicious manner. [the claimant], on the other hand, while perhaps acting foolishly in the circumstances, thought he was in some fashion protecting his family by confronting [the defendant]. His conduct is far less blameworthy.

[33] In the result, I allocate fault for [the claimant’s] injuries 85% to the defendant] and 15% to [the claimant] himself.

As a result of the assault the claimant was left with a permanent inner ear injury causing headaches, dizziness, fatigue, altered sleeping pattern, and has constant ringing in his ears. As the defendant was found to be liable for the tort of assault and battery  damages were awarded in the following amount:

Assessment Award:
Money for pain and suffering: $75,000.00 $63,750.00
Past loss of earning capacity: $7,000.00 $5,950.00
Future loss of earning capacity: $250,000.00 $212,500.00
Our of pocket Expenses: $5,202.94 $4,422.50
Cost of future care: $12,000.00 $10,200.00
TOTAL: $349,202.94 $296,822.50*

*rounded up to $297,000
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: Assault and battery, At Fault, Inner ear injury, Intentional Tort, loss of earning capacity, Pain and Suffering

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