Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Threshold Motion Successful

The defendants in a recent jury trial succeeded on a threshold motion.  In Ryckman v. Pottinger, 2013 ONSC 2857 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff had been in two motor vehicle accidents 11 months apart.  The plaintiff entered into a Pierringer Agreement with the first defendant and proceeded to trial against the second defendant.   The jury assessed global damages at $175,000 and the defendant at trial was responsible for 10% of the figure.  General damages would have been $3,500.

In granting the threshold motion, Justice Parayeski noted that an accident by accident analysis is required; just because a plaintiff met threshold in one case does not mean she will in another. Justice Parayeski inferred from the jury awards that they did not accept the submissions of the plaintiff as to her damages. It appeared the jury did not find the plaintiff credible. There was an observable difference between the plaintiff's appearance at court versus on surveillance. Ultimately, the damages awarded were so small as to lead to the conclusion that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold.  The second accident caused no more than a minor exacerbation of the injuries she sustained in the first accident.

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