Court Awards Plaintiff For Loss Of Contributions To CPP

In Combs v. Bergen, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision, and brought an ICBC claim against the Defendant for damages for pain and suffering, wage loss, diminished earning capacity, and cost of future. Liability was admitted by ICBC’S lawyer. The Plaintiff endured neck pain, back pain, and headaches, and was awarded $70,000.00 for non-pecuniary (pain and suffering) damages. As part of the Plaintiff’s past wage loss, the Court awarded damages for the loss of the Plaintiff’s employer’s contribution to her Canada Pension Plan (CPP), as well as her pension. ICBC’S lawyer argued that such amounts should be deducted, however the Court rejected this submission.


[61]         The plaintiff seeks past income loss in the amount of $18,287.25 and the defendant agrees with this amount. However, the plaintiff also seeks payment for her employer’s contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and s to her pension. These amounts are $831.05 and $1,737.29, respectively. The defendant opposes any payment for these amounts.


[62]         There is authority for the plaintiff’s submission on benefits to the effect that “the compensatory principle requires that the full value of lost fringe benefits must be taken into account when computing loss of working capacity” (Ken Cooper-Stephenson, Personal Injury Damages in Canada, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 1996) at 240). This reasoning was adopted by the Newfoundland Court of Appeal in Hogan (1998), 160 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 93 at para. 41 (Nfld. C.A.). I conclude that is appropriate in this case.


[63]         Past income loss is set at $18,287.25 plus CPP and pension contributions. Total is $20,855.59.

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