A recent 2023 decision Donaldson v Grayson, 2023 BCSC 1675 (CanLII) outlines the legal principles relating to the assessment of cost of future care.
The award for costs of future care was significant – $208,000. There were also multiple objections raised by the defence in relation to cost items, some of which were accepted by the Court.
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 Awards of cost of future care must be objectively supported by medical evidence, the claims must be reasonable, and if the plaintiff will not use the services, the awards ought not be made: Milina v. Bartsch (1985), 1985 CanLII 179 (BC SC), 49 B.C.L.R. (2d) 33 (S.C.); Krangle (Guardian ad litem of) v. Brisco, 2002 SCC 9 at para. 21; and Golkar – Karimabadi v. Bush, 2021 BCSC 990 at para. 107. The medical evidence can come from a health care provider who is not a physician. Like other awards for expenses that may occur in the future, they are subject to adjustments for contingences.
 The supporting medical evidence must demonstrate that the expense is reasonably necessary to promote the mental and physical health of the plaintiff: Gignac v. Insurance Corporation, 2012 BCCA 351 at para. 30. Because health and happiness are intertwined, reasonably necessary is a lesser requirement than medically necessary: Aberdeen v. Township of Langley, Zanatta, Cassels, 2007 BCSC 993 at para. 82, aff’d Aberdeen v. Zanatta, 2008 BCCA 420.
Objections raised by the defence:
- the costs are one that the Plaintiff would have incurred in any event;
- the costs are unlikely to be incurred by the Plaintiff; and/or
- the costs are not supported by medical evidence;
- some of the recommendations will not be utilized as the Plaintiff has not utilized them recently.
- the evidence overall is that the Plaintiff is financially fairly well off.
Assessment of Cost of Future Care Mr. Szekely valued the cost of future care based on the low end and high end of the cost estimates. Mrs. Donaldson seeks the median of those totals. I did not hear any submissions on why anything higher than the low end is appropriate. Given that, I will base my assessment on the low end.
See Case Here.
Read our related article: Cost of Future Care – Arguments to Reduce Items Claimed.
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