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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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Mental Injury

$1.1 Million Awarded to Teenager with Somatic Symptom Disorder

In this personal injury case the claimant suffered injury in two motor vehicle accidents for which she was not at fault. The claimant was a 16 year-old high school student, enrolled in Grade 11 when the first car accident occurred.  It requires the capital asset approach to assess the value of personal injury case when…

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Pain and Suffering Award Increased to Account for Mental Injury

This Court of Appeal injury case is filled with lots of legal analysis for personal injury lawyers such as early retirement loss, subrogation and mandatory net wage loss of ICBC claimants. In this article I will focus on the increase in the claimant’s award for emotional pain and suffering.  The claimant suffered physical and emotional injuries as…

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$175,000 Pain and Suffering for PTSD and Soft Tissue Injury

Valuing psychiatric injury and proving post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is an evidentiary challenge. This PTSD injury claim reviews several  cases in which PTSD was established. This case involved a 55 year old truck driver injured in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 1 near Chilliwack, BC. Having found the other driver 100% at fault the court…

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Beating an Offer to Settle: 5 Principles for Double Costs

In awarding this personal injury claimant double costs for beating the pre-trial offer of settlement, the Supreme Court has articulated 5 key principles to consider if you beat an offer to settle. The defendant insurer State Farm cancelled a mediation because their view was that mediation to settle the car accident claim had little chance of…

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Test for Mental Injury the Same in Contract as Tort

  Personal injury lawyers should know this wrongful dismissal contract case, as the employer successfully appealed a $30,000 mental distress award for aggravated damages. The Court of Appeal found there was no evidentiary foundation for a mental injury award for aggravated damages  despite the Supreme Court Case Saadati (Lau v. Royal Bank of Canada,2017 BCCA 253).  In…

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No Expert Opinion Needed to Strike Jury

A jury trial is a presumptive right in a personal injury action. This car accident injury occurred on Salt Spring Island when another vehicle, travelling in the opposite direction, turned left and into the path of the claimant’s vehicle. Given the complicated mental injury claim and other legal issues the claimant applied, unsuccessfully, to have the jury struck.…

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Defining Mental Injury in Personal Injury Claims

Mental injury has also been referred to by courts as psychological injury, psychiatric injury, emotional trauma, nervous shock, hysteria, mental distress, and a host of medical terms such as conversion disorder, somatic system disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression. The Supreme Court of Canada in Saadati has synthesized all these terms down to…

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Injury Victim called "Crumbling Skull" gets New Trial

In a short but forceful unanimous three panel decision, the Court of Appeal has rung the death knell for the term “crumbing skull” to describe physical and mental conditions that may deteriorate in the future (Gordon v. Ahn,2017 BCCA 221). Other similar terms used by the court in the past include “psychological thin skull”, “eggshell personality” and “eggshell skull”.…

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Injury Victim called “Crumbling Skull” gets New Trial

In a short but forceful unanimous three panel decision, the Court of Appeal has rung the death knell for the term “crumbing skull” to describe physical and mental conditions that may deteriorate in the future (Gordon v. Ahn,2017 BCCA 221). Other similar terms used by the court in the past include “psychological thin skull”, “eggshell personality” and “eggshell skull”.…

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