Mr. Steinlauf was a RCMP Constable driving a marked police SUV when he was struck by a large tractor-trailer. The accident caused significant injuries to his neck, shoulder, lower left leg and back. He developed depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and cognitive difficulties.
Mr. Steinlauf had an ambitious career path and was an incredibly hard-working and intelligent individual. The trial judge found that he was destined for a long and successful career in the RCMP, absent the accident, but was now unlikely to ever become an operational police officer again. He was likely to remain on desk duties for the remainder of his career. His losses were his lost overtime and promotions.
ICBC argued that Mr. Steinlauf was 100% responsible for the accident. Mr. Justice Basran disagreed and attributed 85% liability to the defendant. The evidence provided by ICBC conflicted with the dash cam footage and the expert opinion of the accident reconstruction specialists.
ICBC also argued that Mr. Steinlauf failed to mitigate his damages. Mr. Justice Basran determined that Mr. Steinlauf underwent a significant amount of treatment and followed medical recommendations as best he could. ICBC was not able to provide sufficient evidence to establish that further treatment would have reduced Mr. Steinlauf’s pain.
Taking into account Mr. Steinlaufs injuries and the impact it had on his career with the RCMP, Mr. Justice Basran awarded $3,781,960 in damages with a 15% reduction for liability.
ICBC appealed the case, but The Court of Appeal dismissed it and upheld the trial judge’s decision.
Reasons for Judgement – https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/21/11/2021BCSC1118.htm
Court of Appeal Decision – https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/ca/22/00/2022BCCA0096.htm