The Taylor v. Depew court decision was released by the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver on September 24, 2012.
Eleven years ago, Sean Taylor and Mathew Depew joined a group of friends on a camping trip. A narrow dirt road was the only entry and exit point to their campsite. During the trip, Taylor’s motorbike collided head-on with Depew’s dune buggy on the dirt road as each rounded a corner. The force of the accident fractured Taylor’s thigh bone just above the knee.
Taylor hired Vancouver personal injury lawyers and sued Depew for negligence resulting in his injuries.
At trial, each party argued that the other should be held to a greater degree of liability. The court concluded that Depew should bear 70% of the responsibility for the accident and Mr. Taylor should bear 30%. Taylor and Depew both travelled along this stretch of road many times before the accident. They both knew that the road was not wide enough for two vehicles to pass so they should have driven slowly around the bend. However, the court concluded that Depew should hold a greater degree of responsibility because he was warned twice immediately before the accident to be careful because Taylor was out on the road on the motorbike. Also, Depew did not brake immediately upon seeing Taylor.
When assessing damages, the court accepted testimony from. Dr. Brian Bogue, Mr. Taylor’s family doctor, and Dr. Rubin Feldman, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. Dr. Bogue described Mr. Taylor’s injury as “severe”. He said that Mr. Taylor developed lower back pain and headache due to his injuries. Dr. Bogue was of the view that Mr. Taylor’s main problem is chronic pain, the severity and chronicity of which has caused significant depression and interfered with all aspects of his life, despite the use of pain killers and therapy. Dr. Feldman further added that Mr. Taylor “will undoubtedly end up having a permanent partial disability which will likely continue to give him discomfort for the remainder of his existence”.
The court awarded Mr. Taylor the following damages at 30% liability discount:
- $115,000- damages for pain and suffering
- $90,040.50- loss of future earning capacity
- $2,981.00- medical expenses
- $1,740- cost of future medical care
- $15,000- loss of future housekeeping capacity
- $70,000- loss of income after the accident and prior to trial