Judge rules some Stanley Cup rioters must pay for damaging vehicles

VANCOUVER _ A judge has ruled that some people who participated in the 2011 Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver are liable for damaging vehicles in the melee.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers said in a decision released Friday that nine people who were criminally sentenced for participating in the riots must also pay the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for damaging vehicles insured by the agency.

A report released by the B.C. government in January said 122 vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the five-hour riot that erupted on June 11, 2011, moments before the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.

I.C.B.C. sued 82 people for damages, and 27 settled out of court, while 35 were given default judgements and 10 young men took their cases to trial.

Myers said in his decision that nine of the men who went to trial are liable for damages to at least one vehicle.

But the judge declined to award the punitive damages I.C.B.C. requested, saying the defendants had all been criminally convicted and their sentences were punishment enough.

Myers said in his written decision that he did not “minimize the gravity” of the riot, noting that it threw a major city into complete disarray.

But the men, who were all between the ages of 16 and 38 at the time of their crimes, have already received sentences that took deterrence for others into account, Myers said.

“There comes a point when enough is enough,” he said.

The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch laid 912 charges against 300 suspects in the wake of the riot, including 246 adults and 54 youths.

The province said in January that 284 people pleaded guilty, while 10 chose to go to trial. Nine of those people were convicted. The Crown stayed proceedings against six others.

The Criminal Justice Branch had to create a riot-prosecution team for all of the cases, and their total expenditures were $4,976,765.

canada-press

Saskatchewan changing auto insurance to allow lawsuits against drunk drivers

By CKOM

THE CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA _ A new bill is being introduced in Saskatchewan to give families of those killed by a drunk driver the chance to file a lawsuit.

Don McMorris, the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, brought in the bill on Tuesday.

It includes 20 amendments to Automobile Accident Insurance Act.

Crimes triggering a lawsuit will now be expanded to include criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily injury, street racing, or flight from police.

These changes will impact those with no fault, reduced no fault or tort insurance coverage.

The law is expected to be passed during the fall session and come into effect Jan. 1.

Two previously promised recommendations will not become law this year because McMorris says the costs are too high right now.

One is updating amounts paid for living expenses to reflect current market rates, increasing the overall amount available for assistance to those with cognitive impairment and implementing a process for those with no-fault insurance to regularly review the amounts for alignment with market rates.

The other is ending the practice in no-fault coverage of reducing income benefits by the amount a customer receives through Canada Pension Plan disability.

McMorris estimated the cost to implement those recommendations at between $53 and $63 million in the first year with an extra $8 million each year after that.

“That’s a huge cost … we’re not going to back away from it but at this point as a financial decision 1/8we are 3/8 not able to move forward with it,” he said.

(CKOM)

canada-press

Polaris to recall 133,000 recreational all-terrain vehicles

Polaris to recall 133,000 recreational all-terrain vehicles

Source: REUTERS – Polaris Industries Inc will recall about 133,000 recreational all-terrain vehicles in the United States as they pose a fire risk.

Recall Summary

Name of product: Polaris RZR recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)

The recall involves RZR 900 and RZR 1000 vehicles of model years 2013 to 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The recalled vehicles, sold between July 2012 and April 2016 for $16,000-$26,000, can catch fire while driving, putting drivers and passengers at risk.

Polaris has received more than 160 reports of fire involving the models, resulting in the death of a 15-year-old passenger, the CPSC said.

Polaris will suspend the sale of affected vehicles until they are repaired, the U.S. consumer product safety watchdog said. The CPSC urged owners of the recalled vehicles to stop using them immediately.

Consumer Contact:

Polaris at 800-POLARIS or 800-765-2747 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off-Road Safety Recalls” on the main page of the Polaris web site.

Canada: “I Quit!” – “Not Yet, You Don’t.” Employer Awarded $35,000 For Wrongful Resignation

Canada: “I Quit!” – “Not Yet, You Don’t.” Employer Awarded $35,000 For Wrongful Resignation

Article by Brian Silva

By now, we all know what a wrongful termination is in the employment context. But how many have heard of a wrongful resignation? The Superior Court of Ontario recently reminded us that employers are within their rights to bring a wrongful resignation claim against an employee who fails to provide her or his employer with reasonable notice of resignation.

In this case, Gagnon & Associates Inc. (“GA”) hired Barry Jesso (“Jesso”) in 1996 for the shipping/receiving department. Within a year, Jesso had worked his way into a sales role. By 2006, Jesso was one of GA’s top sales associates, himself accounting for approximately 30 per cent of GA’s total sales – earning him $180,000 in salary. Jesso, however, felt he was underpaid and secured replacement employment with a competitor while still with GA.

Jesso gave GA notice of his resignation on July 14, 2006. His resignation was effective that same day and Jesso never worked at GA again.

In the months that followed, some of GA’s clients gave notice that they were taking their business to Jesso’s new employer. GA also had some difficulty finding an experienced salesperson to replace Jesso.

At trial, GA took the position that Jesso’s failure to provide adequate notice of his resignation prevented GA from implementing an appropriate transition plan, costing the company significant sales. Jesso took the position that he was not a managerial or fiduciary employee and was therefore not required to provide any additional notice of his resignation.

The Court agreed with GA, finding that the reasonable resignation period ought to have been two months and that Jesso’s departure resulted in lost sales:

39.  The notice required of an employee will be a function of that employee’s position with the employer and the time it would reasonably take the employer to replace the employee or otherwise take steps to adjust to the loss. 
40.  Although Jesso was a salesperson with no managerial responsibilities, he was a senior employee with ten years’ experience and was responsible for a significant percentage of GA’s sales.  The evidence at trial established that the market for experienced HVAC salespersons was limited and that a replacement hire could not be made until September of 2006.  In addition, Jesso knew that Comeau, the other senior salesperson would be leaving GA on the same day thereby putting GA in a significantly difficult position.  In these particular circumstances, a notice period of two months would have been appropriate.

The Court awarded GA $35,164 representing the loss in sales suffered by GA over the two month period following Jesso’s resignation.

Take home for employers

According to the Court, a reasonable resignation period is based on the employee’s position, length of service and the time it would reasonably take the employer to replace the employee or otherwise take steps to adjust to the loss.

While the right to bring a wrongful resignation claim against a former employee serves as a strong protection for employers who have suffered a loss resulting from the departure of an employee on inadequate notice, employers are better off protecting against these types of resignations by including language in employment agreements that sets out the precise amount of notice an employee must provide when resigning.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Expert Who “Did Not Meet With, Examine Or Interview” Plaintiff Given Zero Weight

erik-magraken

Erik Magraken: BC Injury Law Claims Blog

In the latest case  (Preston v. Kontzamanis) of courts having critical comments for medico-legal practices, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Quesnel Registry, rejecting the opinion of a defence retained doctor who “did not meet with, examine or interview” the Plaintiff but nonetheless authored a report opining on the Plaintiff’s injuries.

In criticizing this practice Mr. Justice Parrett provided the following comments:

[125]      The defendant provided and relied upon what purported to be an independent medical report (IME) by Dr. Boyle.

[126]     Dr. Boyle readily acknowledged that he was not asked to and did not meet with, examine or interview the plaintiff.

[127]     Dr. Boyle reviewed documents and information provided by counsel and wrote his report.

[128]     These documents and that information included clinical records of various medical professionals.

[129]     This is a process that is unlikely to assist the court in any material way.  The first concession is invariably, and was in this case, that interviewing, examining and getting a personal history is important to providing an accurate and complete assessment.

[130]     This is a trend that appears to have been of relatively recent origin.

[131]     It is also a trend which has drawn adverse comment from judges of this court.  Dhaliwal v. Bassi 2007 B.C.S.C. 549 (Burnyeat, J. at paras. 2-3); Ruscheinski v. Biln 2011 B.C.S.C. 1263 (Walker, J. at paras. 85-87);Rizotti v. Doe 2012 B.C.S.C. 1330 (Tindale, J. at para. 35).

[132]     To these I would add my own comments.  Where an expert chooses to prepare a report as he did here, expecting this court to accept and rely on it.  He is presenting a report in which he effectively asserts that he accepts as true and accurate the factual base on which his opinions are based.

[133]     Where he does so without seeing, examining or taking a personal history he chooses to offer his opinion on the basis of hearsay.  Worse still he chooses to offer it on the basis of his interpretation of hearsay recorded by others.

[134]     Another difficulty presents itself with respect to the report and evidence of Dr. Boyle and the report of Dr. Hawk.

[135]     The clinical records and other documents were admitted under the terms of a document agreement which was entered as Exhibit #1.

[136]     Under the terms of that agreement the use of documents in general, which includes clinical records, is limited.  Paragraph 2 and 5 of that document are particularly notable.

[137]     In my view, Dr. Boyle’s report should be afforded the weight it deserves and in this case where credibility and exaggeration are both asserted against the plaintiff by the defendant that is no weight at all.

[138]     It was not argued in this case that the report was inadmissible and Dr. Boyle’s qualifications to give an expert opinion on this case and in these circumstances was not addressed. I leave it then to another day and for full argument for this court to consider whether the requirements are met to allow the report to be received at all in these circumstances.

BC Collision Counter – 2015

ESTIMATED COLLISION RESULTS FOR B.C. IN 2015 TO DATE:

  • FATAL: 297
  • ALCOHOL INVOLVED FATAL: 92
  • INJURY: 45,830
  • ALCOHOL INVOLVED INJURY: 5,179
  • HOSPITALIZED: 5,904
  • REPORTED: 23,644

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS:

MOTORCYCLE:

  • MOTORCYCLE FATAL:  31
  • MOTORCYCLE INJURY: 1,348
  • MOTORCYCLE CRASHES: 1977

CYCLE:

  • CYCLE FATAL:  9
  • CYCLE INJURY: 1,258
  • CYCLE CRASHES: 1,258

PEDESTRIAN:

  • PEDESTRIAN FATAL:  52
  • PEDESTRIAN INJURY: 2,157
  • PEDESTRIAN CRASHES: 2,067

These figures are estimates based on five year average of collision statistics data from 2008 to 2012 published by ICBC for the province of British Columbia. Hospitalization and Vulnerable Road User rates courtesy of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit.

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