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Credibility Issue no Bar to Summary Trial in Personal Injury Case


This injury claimant alleged the bridge designers failed to properly design a manhole cover near the Pitt River Bridge resulting in his car accident injury. The claimant described the manhole as protruding some inches above the surface of the roadway.
His claim was dismissed at a summary trial on the basis that he had failed to establish a breach of the standard of care or causation against the bridge designers. The  Court of Appeal  dismissed the appeal stating:

[4]  A judge’s decision to proceed with a summary trial is discretionary. It attracts appellate deference. This Court will not interfere unless the discretion was not exercised judicially or was exercised on a wrong principle… Credibility issues are not an automatic bar, nor is the fact that full discovery has not yet taken place. (Hewson v. Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co., 2017 BCCA 143)

The judge reviewed Rule 9-7(15)(a) and concluded that a summary trial on liability would save significant time and expense, which was a compelling reason to sever liability and damages. “He also found that the liability issue was discrete, that credibility questions related primarily to damages and that factors such as the amount involved, the complexity of the case and the course of the proceedings favoured summary determination, as did the proportionality principle.” The Court of Appeal saw no error in the analysis or conclusion, which was well-supported by the materials on the application for summary trial.

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A LL.B. 

 

Tags: Negligence, Rule 9-7 — Summary Trial, Standard of Care, summary trial

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