Judge awards largest punitive damage award in pedestrian crash: lawyer
In this file image, people line up to be screened to enter the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 17, 2017 1:10PM PDT
VANCOUVER - A lawyer says his client has been awarded the largest amount ever by a Canadian court for punitive damages linked to a motor vehicle accident.
Veronica Howell was hit by a pickup truck while jay walking across a Vancouver street in January 2014, suffering a brain injury and other injuries that the B.C. Supreme Court says "changed her life dramatically."
Howell, who was 22 at the time of the accident, was awarded $100,000 for punitive damages in addition to more than $2 million for general damages and loss of income.
Howell's lawyer, John Rice, says the punitive damages award is the largest he could find involving a vehicle accident.
The court found the pickup driver, who was suspended from driving, was on the wrong side of the road as he passed stopped traffic when Howell was struck.
The court ruling says Leon Machi drove off after the accident.
Rice says the judgment also sends a message to the public that reckless behaviour and contempt of the law will not be tolerated.