- 100K cap on non-pecuniary damages became law to ensure stability and predictiveness in awards
- Upper limit only exceeded in exceptional cases.
Trilogy Conclusions - Why is cap on non-pecuniary damages Necessary?
- Not meant to be compensatory but to make life better
- Will be fully compensated for future income and care costs, which are more important
- Such claims by severely injured can be limitless, leading to excessive awards
- Not having a cap could lead to social burden. High awards could cause premiums for insurance to be high
Andrews v. Grand & Toy, Arnold v. Teno, Thornton v. School District (Prince George)
Fenn v. City of Peterborough
why did CoA awarded general damages of 125k
- indexed for inflation (1.5 years after last trilogy case)
- more severly injured than trilogy
Lindal v. Lindal
under what circumstances should exceed 100k?
- Trial awarded 135k
- BC CoA reduced to 100k.
- supreme: supported upper limit but should be inflation-adjusted.
- Rationale: not meant to be compensatory and thus shouldn't consider level of injury
Ter Neuzen v. Korn
evolved into 'rule of law'
- Trial awarded 460k for general damages
- CoA lowered it to 100k.
Decisions in Lee v. Dawson
- Facts: brain injury.
- Decision: capped
- Jury awarded 2m; trial reduced to 295k (100k adjusted for inflation)
- appealed cap shouldn't apply because list of reasons & violates charter discriminating against seriously injured and injury type (doesn't apply to defamation)
- BC CoA rejected appeal and upheld cap
- not meant to be compensatory so shouldn't depend on seriousness
- might be time to rationalize and examine the cap, but CoA cannot overturn the trilogy
Lee v. Dawson Plaintiff - Why Cap Shouldnt Apply
- Trilogy: rough limit, not strict rule of law
- No skyrocketing of awards occurred
- Precludes juries from keeping up with pace of social, eco changes
- Inconsistent with modern values of accepting of disabilities
- disregards importance of juries
- Radical change, not incremental
- unfair for those whose situations differ from trilogy
- Arbitrary and illogical
Cases Where Cap Doesn't Apply and why
- Sexual assaults: S.Y. v. F.G.C.
: negligently mistaken appellant as sexual offender, affected her reputation and future (ability to complete education, income-earning)
- Hill v. Church of Scientology
- Young v. Bella
- Why: exceptional cases and unlikely to impact insurance premium thus not a social burden