Class 4 Answers
1. What is the ceiling for non-pecuniary losses set out by the Supreme
Court of Canada in Andrews v Grand & Toy?
At the time of this case, the Supreme Court set the ceiling at $100,000.00.
You should be aware that this is much lower than decisions in the United
States. The bulk of what seemed to be the huge damages award in this case
was costs of future care, and replacement of lost income. In Ontario damages
for non-pecuniary loss are generally awarded under the Family Law Act for a
loss of care and companionship, and are much lower than this $100,000.00
ceiling. Recall from the case that prior to this decision, a damages award in a
case like Andrews would be $10,000.00 or less.
As you have likely guessed, the courts have been willing to adjust this ceiling
each year in accordance with the rising cost of living, so inflation-adjusted this
ceiling is over $200,000.00 now. I haven’t looked up the actual number, you
are welcome to try and find this out.
2. In the same case, describe the test used to determine non-pecuniary
The functional approach is used: where the court recognizes that money
cannot restore or provide happiness, but, as the only choice we have in a law
suit like this, it can provide the plaintiff with some “solace” or comfort.
3. What did the Alberta Court of Appeal say about the plaintiff wanting to
live in a home of his own?
Lots of things really. They said it was an unreasonable request. They said he
picked it because it was the most expensive option. They said that he might
just as easily pick to go and live in the Bahamas.
They said that a plaintiff could not be compensated for every conceivable
injury. They said that the expense to the defendant should be considered in
awarding damages. They said he could live in a hospital, and that might even
be free. They said he should live with his mother, that is what other people do.
They said he might take his damages award and squander it. They also said
that living in a home