Activities of Daily Living – Loss of Housekeeping Capacity

This is a case referenced as Hinagpis v Adaza III, 2019 BCSC 880 (CanLII) in which the Plaintiff’s presentation of her claim was outstanding and recovered $518,671.66 in damages, the breakdown of which is:

  1. Non-pecuniary damages – $115,000.00;
  2. Loss of past earning capacity – $135,000.00;
  3. Loss of future earning capacity – $160,000.00;
  4. Cost of future care – $46,167.45;
  5. Loss of housekeeping capacity – $15,000.00;
  6. Special damages – $47,504.21.

TOTAL:    $518,671.66

We will look at the housekeeping award, with notes to be mindful of:

  • The Plaintiff must establish that she was impaired in his/her capacity to carry out housekeeping duties as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision
  • Documented evidence of hired assistance should be maintained as the costs should be claimed
  • Itemize all the types of housekeeping tasks that the hired help is performing
  • Ensure you present evidence to show the Court that the impairment is on-going if that is the case
  • Medical evidence will be very helpful to convince the Court that the Plaintiff is suffering with an impairment to carry out housekeeping duties
  • If assistance is required, ensure the medical evidence documents this through the recommendations. If you do not have such an opinion, it is recommended that you seek one.
  • If the assistance is being performed by family members, ensure there is a list of the duties they are performing, how often, how long it takes – clear evidence of the assistance provided.
  • The evidence should also point out that the Plaintiff was able to do these chores / duties pre-mva
  • Of course if the assistance will be required into the future, this evidence should also be sought as the Court will review this evidence, if compelling – there will likely be an award for such a claim.
  • In this specific case the activities of daily living that the Plaintiff was not able to perform were clearly documented:
    • Food preparation
    • Yardwork /gardening
    • Housekeeping
    • Finances
    • Cleaning the washroom
    • Cleaning the shower stall
    • Vacuuming
    • Cooking
    • Carrying groceries
    • Pushing grocery cart
  • The evidence also indicated that with housekeeping assistance, this would ensure that the Plaintiff experienced “less flares of pain and reduce her fatigue so that her energy” would increase

The Plaintiff in this case requested $15,000 for her loss of future housekeeping capacity.

Hourly rate being claimed was $28.00 to perform the heavier tasks.  Working from home was valuable to the Plaintiff, and the Court indicated she should be compensated for this.


I am satisfied that $15,000.00 is a fair and reasonable assessment of the loss suffered by Mrs. Hinagpis here.

The Principles

Keep in mind, these are the principles / common law outlined in this recent decision as it relates to the loss of housekeeping capacity:

In Kim v. Lin, 2018 BCCA 77, the Court of Appeal considered the proper approach to valuing a loss of housekeeping capacity:

[28]           In McTavish v. McGillivray, 2000 BCCA 164, this Court observed that loss of housekeeping capacity could be compensated by a pecuniary or non-pecuniary award: at para. 73. The types of circumstances which may determine whether a loss is more properly considered pecuniary or non-pecuniary were recently discussed by this Court in Liu:

[26] It lies in the trial judge’s discretion whether to address such a claim as part of the non-pecuniary loss or as a segregated pecuniary head of damage. In McTavish at paras. 68-69, the Court suggested that treating loss of housekeeping capacity as non-pecuniary loss may be best suited to cases in which the plaintiff is still able to perform household tasks with difficulty or decides they need not be done, while remuneration in pecuniary terms is preferable where family members gratuitously perform the lost services, thereby avoiding necessary replacement costs.

[31]           This distinction is consistent with this Court’s decision in O’Connell v. Yung, 2012 BCCA 57, where Kirkpatrick J.A. clarified that loss of housekeeping capacity was just that, a loss of capacity, or the loss of an asset that should be compensated as a pecuniary loss regardless of whether the replacement services which are used to value the loss and determine the quantum of the award are actually purchased:

[65] As explained by Professor Cooper-Stephenson in Personal Injury Damages in Canada, 2d ed. (Scarborough: Carswell, 1996) at 315, the claims for loss of home making capacity and for future cost of care are distinct:

The claim for loss of homemaking capacity is for the loss of the value of work which would have been rendered by the plaintiff, but which because of the injuries cannot now be performed. The plaintiff has lost the ability to work in a manner that would have been valuable to her- or himself as well as to others. The claim is not the same as that under future cost of care, which is for the value of services that must now be rendered to the plaintiff. It is true that the two claims may overlap—just as the normal claim for loss of earnings and cost of care may do so—because the cost of care claim may include items which the plaintiff-homemaker would have performed but for the accident. However, a large portion of homemaking involves the performance of work for others, namely, the family unit, and in many cases the claim for loss of homemaking capacity is wholly distinguishable from that for cost of care, particularly if the plaintiff is hospitalized. The loss is a “negative” loss, in the sense that it is the loss of something the plaintiff would have had (her homemaking work) but which she now does not have because of the accident. This places it squarely under the head of loss of working capacity. In contrast, the expense of services provided by others to care for the plaintiff are “positive” losses—the addition of an extra expense—and they clearly fall under cost of care.

[67] As noted by Madam Justice Huddart in McTavish, at para. 16, the case was concerned with the development of principled restraints on claims for loss of housekeeping capacity. One of the principles approved in Kroeker came from Fobel v. Dean (1991), 1991 CanLII 3965 (SK CA), 83 D.L.R. (4th) 385 at 407, [1991] 6 W.W.R. 408 (Sask.C.A.), in which it was said that it is not necessary for a plaintiff to prove that someone will be employed to do the work in the future to be entitled to an award for loss of housekeeping capacity. As I understand the principle, it is the loss of a capacity – an asset – that is compensated. Accordingly, because the award reflects the loss of a personal capacity, it is not dependent upon whether replacement housekeeping costs are actually incurred.

[Emphasis added.]

[33]      Therefore, where a plaintiff suffers an injury which would make a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s circumstances unable to perform usual and necessary household work — i.e., where the plaintiff has suffered a true loss of capacity — that loss may be compensated by a pecuniary damages award. Where the plaintiff suffers a loss that is more in keeping with a loss of amenities, or increased pain and suffering, that loss may instead be compensated by a non-pecuniary damages award. However, I do not wish to create an inflexible rule for courts addressing these awards, and as this Court said in Liu, “it lies in the trial judge’s discretion whether to address such a claim as part of the non-pecuniary loss or as a segregated pecuniary head of damage”: at para. 26.

[34]           Whichever option a court chooses, when valuing these different types of awards, courts should pay heed to the differing rationales behind them. In particular, when valuing the pecuniary damages for the loss of capacity suffered by a plaintiff, courts may look to the cost of hiring replacement services, but they should ensure that any award for that loss, and any deduction to that award, is tied to the actual loss of capacity which justifies the award in the first place.

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