Personal Injury Blog

Court Strikes Defence Jury Notice on Basis that Wage Loss Claim Too “Complex”

December 13, 2016

In the recent decision of van Driesum v. Young, 2016 BCSC 2279, the Court granted the plaintiff’s application to strike the defence jury notice on the basis that the wage loss claim was too “complex” for the jury.  The court said:

[1]             The Plaintiff applies to strike the jury.  The trial is scheduled to begin November 21 and to occupy 18 court days.  These relatively brief reasons will perhaps not do full justice to the able submissions from both sides I heard on Monday, but the imminence of the trial calls for a prompt decision.

[6]             The overall question is trial fairness, weighing the Defendant’s presumptive right to a jury against the risk of unfairness to the Plaintiff by having a jury attempt to decide facts and answer questions which are too intricate or complex.  My conclusion is that this case should not proceed with a jury.

[9]             In the result, determining the Plaintiff’s pre‑accident earning history will not be a straightforward exercise.  The complexity of that exercise, however, pales when it is compared with determining the Plaintiff’s earnings, lost earnings, and diminished earning capacity post-accident.

The full text of the decision can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2016/2016bcsc2279/2016bcsc2279.html?resultIndex=1

The McQuarrie Hunter Personal Injury Blog is maintained by the ICBC and personal injury practice group at McQuarrie Hunter LLP.