Woman awarded nearly $50,000 for loss of daughter in 2011 Vancouver Island car crash

Court orders deceased father's estate to pay for the care 12-year-old would have likely given lupus-stricken mom in the future

A woman who lost her daughter to a fatal 2011 car crash on the Island Highway has been awarded nearly $50,000 for lost household services.

In a decision delivered June 29 in Vancouver, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered the estate of the deceased girl’s father to pay $42,000 under the Family Compensation Act for care the girl would have provided her mother, as well as an additional $7,016.56 in special damages.

The Family Compensation Act allows the family of an individual killed through the actions or negligence of another to seek damages commensurate with their economic loss.

The daughter, identified in court documents only as M.B., was born in Comox and spent her early years living there and near Nanaimo. She was 12 when the car her father was driving on Oct. 16, 2011 crossed the centre lane and collided head-on with another vehicle, killing father and daughter, as well as the driver of the other vehicle.

The mother and father had been separated for about six years at the time of the death. MB had been living with her mother in Mexico shortly before the accident, but had recently moved back to the Island to stay with her grandparents and attend school in Comox.

The father’s estate admitted his liability in the crash. The mother, who suffers from lupus, testified her daughter intended to become a nurse, in part to provide nursing services for her mother.

She testified her daughter would have continued to help with day-to-day tasks such as getting out of the tub or making lunch, before eventually attending university and becoming a nurse like her grandmother, at which point she would be able to provide more substantial care.

When considering the case, Justice Kenneth Ball weighed the difficulty of determining what life path a 12-year-old girl may have followed, and how much care she would have been able to provide for her mother, who now lives in Boston Bar. He referred to relevant cases that had resulted in awards of between $20,000 and $100,000, but remarked on the scarcity of case law in relation to a person of such a young age.

“The plaintiff in the present case seeks damages for loss of household services in the range of $250,000 to $500,000. This range is wholly inconsistent with the vast range of contingencies to be applied against such a claim and wholly inconsistent with any other cases dealing with the death of a child in this jurisdiction,” he wrote in his decision.

“Nonetheless, I am satisfied that the evidence supports a finding that M.B. would have provided a certain amount of assistance to the plaintiff, which requires compensation.”

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

Just Posted

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read