Kasko Estate et al. v. Lethbridge Regional Hospital et al., 2006 ABQB 280

JudgeLutz, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateNovember 15, 2005
Citations2006 ABQB 280;(2006), 393 A.R. 28 (QB)

Kasko Estate v. Lethbridge Hospital (2006), 393 A.R. 28 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2006] A.R. TBEd. AP.082

Maxine Carol Petronech, as Administrator of the Estate of Karen Lorraine Kasko, deceased, and Gregory Steven Kasko (plaintiffs) v. Lethbridge Regional Hospital, Chinook Health Region, Dr. Ian Hurdle, Dr. Daniel Banmann, Dr. John Doe, Dr. Tim Erickson and Dr. Peter Koegler (defendants)

(0101 17459; 2006 ABQB 280)

Indexed As: Kasko Estate et al. v. Lethbridge Regional Hospital et al.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Calgary

Lutz, J.

April 13, 2006.

Summary:

A 27 year old married woman died as a result of the defendants' alleged medical negligence. The woman's estate and her husband brought an action for damages under the Fatal Accidents Act. Section 8(2)(b) of the Act entitled parents to $43,000 "bereavement" damages if their deceased child was a minor or an unmarried person over 18 but under the age of 26. The estate applied to amend the statement of claim to claim damages on the parent's behalf, submitting that the marital status and age provisions of s. 8(2)(b), which precluded their claim, violated the parent's equality rights under s. 15(1) of the Charter. The defendants opposed the amendment, submitting that the estate, as a third party, lacked standing to claim that the parent's personal Charter rights were violated. Further, the defendants submitted that since the amendment would require adding new parties, s. 6(3) of the Limitations Act precluded the proposed amendment. The estate submitted that s. 3 of the Fatal Accidents Act permitted the estate administrator to pursue the Charter challenge on the parent's behalf.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench granted leave to amend the statement of claim. The estate had public interest standing to claim damages and challenge the constitutionality of s. 8(2)(b) on the parent's behalf. In any event, s. 3 of the Fatal Accidents Act mandated that the claim, and Charter challenge, be brought by the estate on the parent's behalf. Since the challenge had merit and the defendants were not seriously prejudiced, the amendments were not barred by the Limitations Act.

Civil Rights - Topic 8583

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Who may raise Charter issues (incl. standing) - [See Practice - Topic 221 ].

Practice - Topic 221

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Public interest standing (incl. requirements of) - A married woman died - Her estate and husband brought an action claiming, inter alia, damages under the Fatal Accidents Act - The woman's parents, whose "bereavement" claim was precluded under s. 8(2)(b) of the Act, were not parties - Subsequently, the estate sought leave to amend the statement of claim to advance a bereavement claim on the parent's behalf, submitting that the marital status and age provisions of s. 8(2)(b) violated the parent's s. 15(1) Charter rights - The defendants opposed the amendment, submitting that the estate lacked standing to pursue the parent's personal Charter rights - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench granted leave to amend the statement of claim - The estate had public interest standing where there was merit to the Charter challenge and the estate had an interest in having the issue resolved - Although there were alternative means and opportunities to challenge s. 8(2)(b) (claims by other parents whose claims were precluded), such opportunities were "not plentiful" - The court stated that denying the estate standing would waste judicial resources and result in delay, extra cost and personal vulnerability - In any event, s. 3 of the Act, which required that a relative's claim under the Act be brought by the estate, gave the estate standing to make the Charter challenge on the relative's behalf.

Torts - Topic 7685

Fatal accidents - Practice - Proper plaintiff - [See Practice - Topic 221 ].

Cases Noticed:

Lemke v. Juckes Estate et al. (2000), 273 A.R. 274; 2000 ABQB 776, refd to. [para. 10].

Easthope et al. v. Stenabaugh et al. (2004), 358 A.R. 143; 2004 ABQB 342, refd to. [para. 10].

Ferraiuolo Estate v. Olson (2004), 357 A.R. 68; 334 W.A.C. 68; 2004 ABCA 281, refd to. [para. 11].

Herman et al. v. Public Trustee (Alta.) et al. (2005), 379 A.R. 112; 46 Alta. L.R.(4th) 330; 2005 ABQB 337, refd to. [para. 12].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, refd to. [para. 16].

Borowski v. Canada (Attorney General), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 342; 92 N.R. 110; 75 Sask.R. 82, refd to. [para. 16].

Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Québec (Procureur général), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927; 94 N.R. 167; 24 Q.A.C. 2, refd to. [para. 16].

Law v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 497; 236 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 16].

Stinson Estate v. British Columbia et al. (1999), 133 B.C.A.C. 15; 217 W.A.C. 15; 182 D.L.R.(4th) 407; 1999 BCCA 761, leave to appeal refused [2000] 2 S.C.R. ix; 264 N.R. 394, dist. [para. 17].

Levesque (I.) Estate v. Levesque (A.) Estate (1989), 96 N.B.R.(2d) 348; 243 A.P.R. 348 (Fam. Div.), dist. [para. 17].

Métis National Council of Women et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [2005] 2 C.N.L.R. 192; 265 F.T.R. 162; 2005 FC 230, affd. (2006), 348 N.R. 83; 2006 FCA 77, dist. [para. 17].

Hislop et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2004), 192 O.A.C. 331; 246 D.L.R.(4th) 644 (C.A.), leave to appeal granted [2005] S.C.C.A. No. 26, dist. [para. 17].

Canada (Attorney General) v. Vincent Estate (2005), 339 N.R. 82; 257 D.L.R.(4th) 268; 2005 FCA 272, dist. [para. 17].

Wilson v. Canada et al., [1996] B.C.T.C. Uned. 857; 25 B.C.L.R.(3d) 181 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 18].

Hu et al. v. Wang et al. (2003), 327 A.R. 382; 296 W.A.C. 382; 2003 ABCA 171, refd to. [para. 21].

Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Canadian Commercial Bank (2000), 269 A.R. 49; 2000 ABQB 440, refd to. [para. 23].

Balm v. 3512061 Canada Ltd. et al. (2003), 327 A.R. 149; 296 W.A.C. 149; 2003 ABCA 98, refd to. [para. 26].

Rosenich et al. v. Welke, [2003] A.R. Uned. 659; 2003 ABQB 876, refd to. [para. 26].

Canadian Egg Marketing Agency v. Richardson - see Canadian Egg Marketing Agency v. Pineview Poultry Products Ltd. et al.

Canadian Egg Marketing Agency v. Pineview Poultry Products Ltd. et al., [1998] 3 S.C.R. 157; 231 N.R. 201; 223 A.R. 201; 183 W.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 33].

Thorson v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [1975] 1 S.C.R. 138; 1 N.R. 225, refd to. [para. 35].

McNeil v. Board of Censors (N.S.), [1976] 2 S.C.R. 265; 5 N.R. 43; 12 N.S.R.(2d) 85; 6 A.P.R. 85, refd to. [para. 35].

Borowski v. Canada (Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance), [1981] 2 S.C.R. 575; 39 N.R. 331; 12 Sask.R. 420, refd to. [para. 35].

Finlay v. Canada, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 607; 71 N.R. 338, refd to. [para. 35].

Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada et al., [1992] 1 S.C.R. 236; 132 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 36].

Vriend et al. v. Alberta, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 493; 224 N.R. 1; 212 A.R. 237; 168 W.A.C. 237, refd to. [para. 39].

Vriend et al. v. Alberta (1994), 152 A.R. 1 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 40].

Ferraiuolo Estate v. Olson (2003), 338 A.R. 160; 2003 ABQB 330, refd to. [para. 43].

Statutes Noticed:

Fatal Accidents Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. F-5, sect. 3, sect. 8 [para. 8].

Limitations Act, S.A. 1996, c. L-15.1, sect. 6 [para. 9].

Rules of Court (Alta.), rule 132 [para. 22].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Alberta, Institute of Law Research and Reform, Non-Pecuniary Damages in Wrongful Death Actions - A Review of Section 8 of the Fatal Accidents Act: Report for Discussion No. 12, (1992), pp. 12 [paras. 54, 55]; 13 [para. 55].

Alberta, Institute of Law Research and Reform, Non-Pecuniary Damages in Wrongful Death Actions - A Review of Section 8 of the Fatal Accidents Act: Report No. 66 (1993), p. 18 [para. 56].

Alberta, Institute of Law Research and Reform, Survival of Actions and Fatal Accidents Act Amendment, Report No. 24 (1977), pp. 17 [paras. 49, 55]; 20 [para. 55].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (4th Ed. 1997) (2005 Looseleaf Update, Release 1), para. 37.2(d) [para. 35].

Mullan, David J., Administrative Law (2001), p. 452 [para. 39].

Ross, June M., Standing in Charter Declaratory Actions (1995), 33 Osgoode Hall L.J. 151, generally [para. 39].

Counsel:

Stacy Petriuk and Gavin Price, for the plaintiffs;

David Steele and Alison Gray, for the defendants, Dr. Daniel Banmann, Dr. Tim Erickson and Dr. Peter Koegler.

This application was heard on November 15, 2005, before Lutz, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Calgary, who delivered the following judgment on April 13, 2006.

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