Insurance - Automobile insurance - Catastrophic impairment
Defendant, while driving impaired, drove into plaintiffs' vehicle, causing death of young child and serious personal and psychological injuries to other family members. Plaintiffs brought action in which liability was admitted and damages were awarded. Defendant contended that trial judge erred in permitting expert orthopedic witness to rely on evidence from Statistics Canada concerning working expectancy of patients with chronic low back pain. Defendant contended that trial judge improperly considered evidence of registered psychologist and specialist in treatment of children, who gave evidence on whether injuries to children met threshold. Defendant contended that awards of damages for loss of care, guidance and companionship under Family Law Act exceeded applicable range and were so excessive as to reflect error in principle. Defendant appealed. Appeal dismissed. Fact that orthopedic witness considered statistical information as one of many elements of knowledge, information, and experience grounding his opinion did not render his evidence inadmissible or preclude trial judge from referring to that evidence. Evidence of psychologist was led by plaintiffs without objection by defendant, and defendant pointed to no authority holding that requisite evidence must be given by medical doctor as opposed to psychologist. Psychologist's evidence was confirmed by evidence of defendant's own expert psychiatrist, which satisfied requirements of threshold. Submission as to damages was unsupported by any reference to authority as to what current range was or should be. It was not established that awards in this case exceeded range set out in previous decision of this Court, when properly adjusted for inflation.
Rodrigues v. Purtill (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 14815, 2019 ONCA 740, G.R. Strathy C.J.O., J.C. MacPherson J.A., and M. Tulloch J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 10498, 2018 ONSC 3102, P.B. Hockin J. (Ont. S.C.J.).
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