In the first ever civil litigation decision rendered by the Alberta Court of King's Bench (because before Queen Elizabeth II's passing and the consequent ascension of Charles III as King of the Commonwealth, the Court was known as the Queen's Bench), the Honourable Justice Michael Kraus has ruled that certain legislation gifted to the insurance lobby by Premier Jason Kenney and his then-Finance Minister Travis Toews in December 2020 does not have retroactive effect. This important court ruling, released September 9, 2022, accords with the legal opinion of McCourt Law Offices outlined in this blog post published back in March of 2021 (which, along with this blog entry, formed the content of an article published in ACTLA's Barrister magazine last year).
Jackson v. Cooper is the name of the court case, and arose out of an October 2015 motor vehicle accident in which negligent driver Cooper blew a stop sign, injuring innocent motorist Papa Jackson. As a result of his accident injuries, Mr. Jackson missed a bit of time from work and treated with medication and therapy for about 7 months post-accident. While the insurance defence lawyer argued at trial that the plaintiff's injuries were governed by the Minor Injury Regulation and thus capped at about $5,000 in pain and suffering compensation, the learned trial judge rightfully concluded that Jackson's acute traumatic soft-tissue injuries had evolved into a chronic pain condition (defined as pain persisting beyond 3-6 months post-accident) which, as a matter of law, is not a capped minor injury. Mr. Justice Kraus awarded general non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering compensation in the sum of $55,000. The question then became whether or not the plaintiff was entitled to interest on his non-pecuniary damages at 4% per year for the over 5 years from the accident date prior to the December 9, 2020 passage of Bill 41, or whether the (comparatively speaking) "chump change" interest rates set out in the Judgment Interest Regulation applied retroactively. For reasons aligning closely to those stated in our firm's blog post published nearly a year and a half ago, the Court ruled correctly, presumably much to the chagrin of the auto insurance industry and its obedient government benefactors including UCP leadership candidate Travis Toews. McCourt Law Offices founder Mark McCourt congratulates plaintiff counsel for her excellent and successful submissions, and thanks the King's Bench trial judge for his wise decision. In conclusion, if you're hurt by a reckless motorist, don't hesitate to take your case to McCourts -- we know our stuff and take a keen INTEREST in fighting for your right to full and fair pain and suffering compensation. Call us!