Rockall v. Alberni Construction Ltd. and Stephens (2013 Oral Reasons for Judgement from Mr. Justice Leask)

Mr. Rockall was cycling along Highway 4 in Port Alberni when he felt his bike “sliding out” and he fell onto the roadway from the gravel shoulder. Mr. Rockall got up, picked up his bicycle, and moved off the road onto the gravel shoulder when the defendant struck Mr. Rockall on the side of the road. Mr. Rockall suffered an “open pelvic fracture” and was transported by emergency helicopter to West Coast General Hospital due to the severity of his injuries. The defendant denied striking Mr. Rockall and alleged that the injury occurred when Mr. Rockall fell from his bike. The defendant also argued that he swerved to the side of the road to avoid Mr. Rockall and that he did not have time to stop. ICBC offered $0 to Mr. Rockall and denied all liability for the accident.
The trial judge determined that the defendant had ample time to stop given that he observed Mr. Rockall fall, get up, grab his bike and move to the side of the road (a process that takes 7 seconds). The trial judge determined that the defendant struck Mr. Rockall given the severity of the injuries and the fact that the expert orthopedic surgeon confirmed that this type of injury is caused exclusively by blunt force trauma.

The trial judge awarded $260,000.00 for Mr. Rockall’s injuries.

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