Category: Loss of Interdependency Claims

Court Rules Loss Of Interdependency Claims Must Be Specifically Plead

The law in British Columbia allows for claims to be made by injured parties who are unable, due to their injuries, to form interdependent economic relationships.


The issue of whether or not this claim needs to be advanced as its own particular heading of damage was addressed in the case of Moll v. Parmar. The Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision, and consequently brought an ICBC claim for several heads of damages, including pain and suffering, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, out of pocket expenses, and the cost of future care. A claim for loss of interdependency was not specifically plead in the Statement of Claim (nowadays a Notice of Civil Claim).


ICBC’S lawyer brought an application to not admit into evidence the report of an economist on the grounds that it was not served in time, and that the Plaintiff‘s financial dependency on his wife was not relevant to any of the issues raised in the pleadings. Thus, the Court had to decide on the issue of whether or not a claim for loss of interdependency must be specifically plead as such. The Court would rule that such a claim does in fact have to be specifically plead, commenting :


[13]         Counsel were unable to provide me with any authority in this province which specifically deals with this issue. I was also unable to find any.


[16]         An interdependency claim while often considered with a claim for loss of earning capacity, is a separate head of damages. Anderson v. Miner (1999), 57 B.C.L.R. (3d) 118 (C.A.), considered an award of damages arising from injuries sustained by an infant plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff submitted the trial judge’s award for impaired future-earning capacity was inordinately low and that he had also erred in failing to make any award for the plaintiff‘s loss of the opportunity to form an economically advantageous interdependent relationship.

[19]         The issue before me, being whether the interdependency claim had to be specifically pled, was not before the Court of Appeal in Anderson. I have concluded that while an interdependency claim is “closely connected” to one for loss of earning capacity, it is nonetheless a separate head of damages. It should be specifically pled and accompanied, pursuant to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, R. 3-1(2)(a), by a concise statement of the material facts giving rise to the claim.

[20]         Accordingly, if the plaintiff seeks to advance this claim, he is required to amend his statement of claim. Absent the defendant‘s consent, he will have to apply to do so. There is no draft amended notice of civil claim before me and, accordingly, I am not in a position to deal with a proposed amended pleading at this time.