Mussio Goodman lawyers Eric Goodman and Thomas O’Mahony successfully defended an ICBC appeal of our client’s $1,542,866 award for future loss of earnings.
In the original decision McColl v Sullivan, 2020 BCSC 137, the judge agreed with our submissions that the female plaintiff’s future loss of earnings should be calculated using male labour market statistics. The male statistics increased the award significantly, by about $300,000.
In arguing that the male labour market statistics were more appropriate, we noted that the plaintiff was working as a film editor, work for which there is no statistical difference in pay between male and females. Our client also intended to work full time for the rest of her career, with or without children. Recognizing that female statistics factor in the likelihood that a female would be paid less than a male or would take more time off than a male for family formation, we argued that this would visit unfairness on the plaintiff.
ICBC appealed, arguing that the judge erroneously applied male labour market statistics to a female as a blanket principle, and that female statistics were more appropriate given the evidence.
We argued that the trial judge clearly applied a cautious, individual approach, and that her finding of fact was well supported by the evidence and should not be disturbed.
The Court of Appeal essentially held that it was unclear from her reasons for judgment how the trial judge settled on male multipliers, and remitted the issue back to her for clarification and to assess the overall fairness of the award.
We then reappeared before the trial judge, who dismissed ICBC’s arguments and affirmed the original award, while also awarding costs against ICBC for the hearing.
We are proud of our client’s resolve and grateful for the trust she put in us to see this case through to the right result.