Keizer v. Hanna and Buch, (1978) 19 N.R. 209 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 19, 1978
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1978), 19 N.R. 209 (SCC);[1978] ACS no 9;82 DLR (3d) 449;[1978] SCJ No 9 (QL);19 NR 209;3 CCLT 316;[1978] 2 SCR 342;1978 CanLII 28 (SCC)

Keizer v. Hanna (1978), 19 N.R. 209 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Keizer v. Hanna and Buch

Indexed As: Keizer v. Hanna and Buch

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

January 19, 1978.

Summary:

This case arose out of a claim for damages for death arising out of a motor vehicle accident. The deceased was a 33 year old husband and father. The action was commenced on behalf of the deceased's widow and six month old boy. Pursuant to the provisions of the Ontario Fatal Accidents Act the trial court awarded $120,000.00 general damages for death.

On appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal the appeal was allowed in part and the general damage award for death was reduced from $120,000.00 to $65,000.00.

On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the appeal was allowed in part and the general damage award for death was increased from $65,000.00 to $100,000.00.

de Grandpré and Judson, JJ., dissenting, in the Supreme Court of Canada, would have dismissed the appeal and would have affirmed the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal - see paragraphs 52 to 73.

Damages - Topic 2252

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - Calculation of value of particular dependencies - Wife and children dependent upon a husband and father - A 33 year old husband and father was killed in a motor vehicle accident - The deceased was a tool room foreman and earned $15,000.00 per annum - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the present value of $7,000.00 (the dependency) over a period of 31 years (the deceased's life expectancy), using a 6.5% discount rate, was approximately $95,000.00 - The Supreme Court of Canada awarded $100,000.00 for general damages for death, less $6,500.00 insurance benefits, for the benefit of a 27 year old wife ($78,500.00) and a six month old boy ($15,000.00) - See paragraphs 14 and 15.

Damages - Topic 2117

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - Method of assessment of the value of the dependency - Contingencies - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a trial judge must consider contingencies which tend to reduce the award and must also consider contingencies tend to increase the award - See paragraphs 11 and 12.

Damages - Topic 2174

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - Considerations which increase an award - The Supreme Court of Canada increased an award for damages for death because of the impact of taxes on the future investment income from the investment of the award - See paragraph 14.

Damages - Topic 2117

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - Method of assessment of the value of the dependency - Contingencies - Prospects of remarriage by a widow - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that where there is no evidence of an existing interest or attachment a court should not accord any "material significance to this prospect by way of deduction" - See paragraphs 4 and 37 and 38.

Damages - Topic 2100

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada referred to the proper method of calculating a damage award under the Ontario Fatal Accidents Act - See paragraph 13.

Damages - Topic 2121

Fatal accidents - Torts causing death - Deductions from the value of the dependency - Income Tax - The Supreme Court of Canada held that income tax should be deducted in calculating the value of a dependency - See paragraphs 1 and 58 to 70.

Torts - Topic 307

Negligence - Motor vehicle - Statutory liability of an owner of a vehicle for the negligence of the driver of the owner's vehicle - What constitutes an owner - Ontario Highway Traffic Act, s. 132 - Hanna purchased a motor vehicle from a car dealer - Because of Hanna's inability to provide proof of insurance (required on registration of car) the car dealer left the car registration in the dealer's name - Hanna was involved in an accident - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the car dealer was liable for Hanna's negligence because the car dealer was an "owner" within the meaning of s. 132 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

Words and Phrases

Owner - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the word "owner" as found in s. 132 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1970, c. 202 - See paragraphs 23 to 30.

Cases Noticed:

Gehrmann v. Lavoie, 6 N.R. 570, [1976] 2 S.C.R. 561, not folld. [paras. 1, 58]; 6 N.R. 570, 59 D.L.R.(3d) 634, folld. [paras. 33, 48].

Buckley v. John Allen & Ford (Oxford) Ltd., [1967] 1 All E.R. 539, refd to. [para. 4].

Honan v. Gerhold et al., [1973] 2 O.R. 341, refd to. [para. 28].

McCannel v. McLean, [1937] S.C.R. 341, folld. [para. 33].

Gorman v. Hertz Drive Yourself Stations of Ontario Ltd., [1966] S.C.R. 13, folld. [para. 33].

Bentley v. Ford, [1967] 1 All E.R. 539, folld. [para. 37].

Hossack et al. v. Hertz Drive Yourself Stations of Ontario Ltd. et al., [1966] S.C.R. 28, folld. [para. 54].

British Transport Commission v. Gourley, [1956] A.C. 185, refd to. [para. 59].

May et al. v. Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, [1969] 1 O.R. 419, folld. [para. 60].

Jennings v. Queen, [1966] S.C.R. 532, refd to. [para. 60].

Hawryluk et al. v. Hodgins, [1972] 3 O.R. 741, folld. [para. 61].

Crosby v. O'Reilly et al., [1975] 2 S.C.R. 381, 2 N.R. 338, folld. [para. 62].

Canadian Pacific Limited et al. v. Gill, [1973] S.C.R. 654, refd to. [para. 63].

Littley et al. v. Brooks et al., [1932] S.C.R. 462, refd to. [para. 67].

Proctor et al. v. Dyck et al., [1953] 1 S.C.R. 244, refd to. [para. 67].

Spurr et al. v. Naugler, 11 N.S.R.(2d) 637; 50 D.L.R.(3d) 105, refd to. [para. 71].

Taylor v. O'Connor, [1970] 1 All E.R. 365, folld. [para. 71].

Statutes Noticed:

Fatal Accidents Act, R.S.O. 1970, c. 164.

Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1970, c. 202, sect. 132 [para. 23].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Giague and McClure Present Value Tables [para. 45].

Special Lectures of the Law Society of Upper Canada on Damages for Personal Injuries, (1958) [para. 59].

McGregor on Damages, 13th Ed., (1972) [para. 64].

Stevenson and Orr, The Tax Element in Damages (1956), British Tax Review, page 6 [para. 64].

Fleming, The Law of Torts, (4th Ed. 1971), page 586 [para. 65].

Street, The Law of Torts, (6th Ed. 1976), p. 414 [para. 64].

South African Law Journal (1950), vol. 67, page 296 [para. 66].

Counsel:

W.S. Wigle, Q.C. and D.G. Duke, for the appellant;

G. Morin, for the respondent Herbert Lewis Hanna;

G.J. Cooligan, Q.C. and R. Montague, for the respondent John Buch.

This appeal was heard by LASKIN, C.J.C., MARTLAND, JUDSON, RITCHIE, SPENCE, PIGEON, DICKSON, BEETZ and de GRANDPRE, JJ., at Ottawa, Ontario, on March 8, 1977.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered on January 19, 1978, and the following opinions were filed:

DICKSON, J. - see paragraphs 1 to 16.

SPENCE, J. - see paragraphs 17 to 51.

de GRANDPRE, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 52 to 73.

LASKIN, C.J.C., MARTLAND, RITCHIE, BEETZ and PIGEON, JJ., concurred with DICKSON, J.

JUDSON, J., concurred with de GRANDPRE, J.

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    ...112, 113, 124, 329 Kean v Porter, 2008 BCSC 1594 ..........................................................150, 197, 507 Keizer v Hanna, [1978] 2 SCR 342, 82 DLR (3d) 449, 3 CCLT 316 ...................................................................................207, 212, 213 Kelly v Nor......
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