The Supreme Court of Canada, in a 9-0 ruling, restored the trial decision in favour of our client. The result of the decision was to award Mr. Saadati compensation for his psychological injuries and clarified that Canadian law will not draw unfair distinctions between mental injuries and physical injuries. Further, that expert opinion will not always be required in awarding damages for psychological injuries.
The case was successfully argued by Dairn Shane and Joseph Fearon of our offices. Mr. Shane was counsel of record at both the Trial and Appeal Courts.
Mr. Saadati suffered serious psychological injuries because of multiple car accidents and the Trial judge agreed.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled that he was not entitled to any compensation, finding he had to meet a more stringent legal test with respect to psychological damages which required the use of expert evidence and opinions. Mr. Shane appealed their ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Part of this landmark decision clarifies the courts position on awards only being available to individuals diagnosed with a recognized psychiatric diagnosis. Mr. Shane argued successfully that there was no good or fair reason to treat people with mental and physical injuries differently. The court agreed, suggesting that decisions involving psychological damages have more recently been premised upon dubious perceptions of psychiatry and of mental illness in general, which Canadian tort law should repudiate.
This case not only helps to remove the barriers for those wishing to seek compensation who are suffering from psychological injuries, but it is a crucial step forward towards helping all Canadians with psychological injuries seek the compensation they deserve.
The effect of this ruling has broad application to many areas of the law including but not limited to employment law and class actions, as it now provides the courts with broader powers with respect to where courts will now have broader powers in assessing and awarding compensation for mental distress.
This was an important win for all accident victims in this country resulting with the Supreme Court of Canada rejecting arguments from the insurance industry multiple lawyer defense team arguments that psychological injuries should be approached with skepticism.
You can read the decision here: https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/16664/index.do
You can watch a video of the full hearing here: http://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=36703
If you or someone you know has suffered a psychological injury, call 1-800-JUSTICE today for a free case evaluation from one of our expert personal injury lawyers.