Largest South Coast storm in a decade causes mass power outages
Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken
If you own a Ferrari and really want to drive it but can’t because of another’s actions, how much is that worth? $15,000 according to reasons for judgement released today by the BC Supreme Court.
In today’s case (Miller v. Brian Ross Motorsports Corp.) the Plaintiff’s Ferrari was damaged while being serviced at the Defendant dealership. The Plaintiff sued for damages arguing he should be entitled to $80,000 for the period which he could not use the vehicle. The Court found the Defendant’s conduct did indeed wrongfully deprive the plaintiff of use of this vehicle for a period of approximately 9 months. In assessing damages at $15,000 Madam Justice Dardi provided the following reasons –
 In assessing the appropriate quantum of damages for the loss of use, I have considered the following factors:
- The plaintiff derives great pleasure from driving his Ferrari and he was deprived of driving it for many months including through the summer months of 2013.
- During the Material Period, the plaintiff had an alternative vehicle, the Acura, available for transportation purposes.
- Although the plaintiff endeavoured to drive his Ferrari as frequently as possible, he would not have driven it on a daily basis throughout the Material Period. On his own testimony, he did not drive the Ferrari in the rain, or for work purposes. The Ferrari was insured for “pleasure” and could only be utilized for work purposes a maximum of six days per month.
- The plaintiff travelled away from Vancouver for work and for pleasure during the Material Period.
- Although the plaintiff adduced evidence of a rental rate from Mr. Stirrat of the Vancouver Car Club for a substitute Ferrari, he did not take steps to rent such a vehicle. The defendant challenges the reliability of Mr. Stirrat’s evidence on the rental rate. The rate the plaintiff urges this court to apply is the advertised price and notably, Mr. Stirrat was unable to confirm if any vehicle had, in fact, been rented at that price. In addition, the advertised vehicle is not the same model or year as the Ferrari. Further, although the plaintiff calculated the annual rate by extrapolating the monthly rate, no evidence was provided regarding whether the price would differ for long term renters. Overall, I found the evidence regarding the advertised rental rates to be of limited assistance.
 The plaintiff points out that if he had rented a replacement Ferrari, he would have been entitled to special damages for incurring that cost. However the plain fact is that he did not rent a replacement vehicle. Here, the plaintiff’s claim is for general or non-pecuniary damages for loss of use. The doctrinal underpinnings related to general damages are distinct from special damages. Special damages are awarded to compensate a plaintiff for out-of-pocket expenses and generally are calculable monetary losses. In contrast, an award of general or non-pecuniary damages is intended to compensate the plaintiff for more intangible losses and is not a matter of precise arithmetical calculation.
 Finally, in assessing general damages, the court must, on a balanced consideration of the evidence, endeavour to tailor an award that is reasonable and fair as between the parties: Kates v. Hall, 53 B.C.L.R. (2d) 322 (C.A.) at 322; Nason v. Aubin (1958), 16 D.L.R. (2d) 309 (N.B.S.C.) at 314.
 On a balanced consideration of the relevant factors, I assess the plaintiff’s damages for loss of use of the Ferrari during the Material Period as $15,000.
Ten of the world’s biggest carmakers were sued over claims that keyless ignitions lacking an automatic shut-off endanger drivers and passengers with deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Also named as defendants were Hyundai, including Kia; Nissan, including Infiniti; Toyota, including Lexus; and Volkswagen, including Bentley. The suit alleges the automakers have known for years about increased dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when people mistakenly leave their keyless ignition vehicles running after they’ve left the auto, taking their key fobs with them. Now 10 auto makers in the United States have been hit with a lawsuit claiming the issue has resulted in 13 deaths due to what is said to be a “defect” with the vehicles.
They also accused the automakers of failing to install an cheap feature that would automatically turn off unattended engines after a period of time.
“Plaintiffs believed the automakers’ repeated promises that the affected vehicles were safe”, the complaint said. Notably, Ford and GM filed patents that included language about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning – but, according to the suit, though the two automakers “openly recognized the risky consequences associated with keyless fobs…” It also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
BMW, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota declined to comment. Some older model vehicles with keyless ignitions aren’t equipped with these features, however, the lawsuit claims. Whitney Eichinger, a Ford spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a call after normal business hours seeking comment.
Wednesday’s lawsuit was filed in the federal court in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Judge James Selna in July 2013 approved a US$1.6 billion settlement to resolve claims that Toyotas lost value because of that defect.
The case is Draeger v. Toyota Motor Sales USA, 15-CV-06491, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
By Amanda Lee Myers
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES _ Eight people across the U.S. who registered to use Ashley Madison are suing the website for cheaters after hackers released personal and detailed information of millions of users, including financial data and sexual proclivities.
The lawsuits were filed between last month and Monday by Ashley Madison users in California, Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota. They all seek class-action status to represent the estimated 37 million registered users of Ashley Madison.
The lawsuits, which seek unspecified damages, claim negligence, breach of contract and privacy violations. They say Ashley Madison failed to take reasonable steps to protect the security of its users, including those who paid a special fee to have their information deleted.
Last month, hackers infiltrated Ashley Madison’s website and downloaded private information. The details _ including names, emails, home addresses, financial data and message history _ were posted publicly online last week.
“Needless to say, this dumping of sensitive personal and financial information is bound to have catastrophic effects on the lives of the website’s users,” according to a lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of an anonymous Los Angeles man who created an account with Ashley Madison in March 2012.
“As a result of (Ashley Madison’s) unfair, unreasonable and inadequate data security, its users’ extremely personal and embarrassing information is now accessible to the public,” according to the lawsuit, filed by the Baltimore-based firm of Hammond Law.
Attorney Julian Hammond, who says his firm has litigated class-action lawsuits against companies like Google, Apple and Hulu, said the Ashley Madison breach is unprecedented in his experience.
The website’s users are worried not only about identity theft but about the embarrassment of the release of intimate sexual preferences. Even registering for the site without having an actual affair could put marriages in jeopardy.
“I haven’t seen anything like it,” Hammond said Tuesday.
A spokesman for Avid Life Media, the Toronto-based company that owns Ashley Madison, referred to previously released statements by the company calling the hack malicious and an “act of criminality.”
Avid Life on Monday began offering a $500,000 Canadian (US $378,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of members of a group that hacked the site.
“We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world,” the company said in a statement last week.
The U.S. litigation follows a $578 million lawsuit filed in Canada last week, also seeking class-action status.
The hackers who took responsibility for Ashley Madison’s data breach have said they attacked the website in an effort to close it down as punishment for collecting a $19 fee without actually deleting users’ data.
On Monday, Canadian police said the hack has triggered extortion crimes and led to two unconfirmed reports of suicides.
The credit-card information of U.S. government workers _ some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department _ was revealed in the breach. Hundreds of email addresses in the data release appear to be connected to federal, provincial and municipal workers across Canada.
Colleen Schmidt, CTV News
A 42-year-old Calgary man is facing charges in connection to a multi-million dollar fraud investigation that alleged bilked $20M from investors over an eight year period.
The Calgary RCMP Serious & Organized Crime Unit launched an investigation into commercial real estate ventures operated by Platinum Equities Ltd., which is controlled by Srinivasan “Sharif” Chandran of Calgary.
Police arrested and charged Chandran on Monday and allege that he:
- Used Platinum Equities Ltd. to raise millionsof dollars from Canadian investors through a variety of investment funds and that one of the funds, the Qualia Real Estate Investment V Limited Partnership (Qualia V), issued an Offering Memorandum to raise capital for the purchase of a commercial building known as Dominion Place in Calgary Alberta.
- After purchasing the Dominion Place building in 2006 using funds belonging to the Qualia V limited partnership, he fraudulently sold the Dominion Place building in 2011 in a non-arm’s length transaction to another company he controlled and operated without the knowledge or consent of the limited partners. Qualia V investors were instantly deprived of their asset on this date.
- Committed theft of the secured equity of the Qualia V Limited Partnership when he sold the Dominion Place Building to a company he controlled and operated.
- Provided false information to investors, diverted funds to other business ventures outside of the investment agreement and stole about $20M in investor’s funds, between September 28, 2005 and October 21st, 2013
Chandran is charged with fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.