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Boxer's Damage Award After Car Crash Upheld on Appeal - Trial by Jury

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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Nigerian born boxing champion Jegbefumere ( Bone) Albert's story is a  fascinating one.

In 2000 Albert competed at the Sydney Olympics.

In 2002, "Bone" won a gold medal at the Commenwealth Games. In 2001 - 2003, Albert was the B.C. champion in his weight class.

And in 2006, Albert went pro.

Then in happened.

In 2008, Bone was a passenger in a car driven by Irabor Norense that was sideswiped, left the road and hit a telephone pole. Bone was knocked unconscious. And more importantly suffered a significant injury to his right hand.

According to Ian Mulgrew's article in the May 24, 2013, edition of the Vancouver Sun, ICBC offered Albert $50,000 to settle his claim out of court.

Albert rejected ICBC's offer and instead chose to put his fate in the hands of a jury. And guess what. The jury awarded Albert a little over $1,000,000.00 in compensation.

Of course ICBC appealed the jury's decision. But they didn't get any satisfaction from the B.C. Court of Appeal, where the jury award was upheld.

Now the details of Albert's case are fascinating. And if you're interested, I'd suggest you checkout Ian Mulgrew's column ( page A13).

But here's the most interesting part of it. Albert's case really shows you that a jury interprets a case in a unique way. You see, a trial by jury is an entirely different thing from a trial by judge alone.

The members of a jury apply their own values, thoughts and fears when it comes to making sense of the evidence they hear, see, feel and smell ( if you know what I mean) in a courtroom. 

Runaway Jury? Money flowing in the streets for car accident victims ?

NO WAY !! Not in my experience.

Juries can dish out a good old a## whipping just as readily as a signficant award.

You might say that what a jury decides  reflects what is actually happening on the street. In fact, lwhy don't we take it a step further.The members of a jury represent the views of British Columbians when it comes to our justice system.

Here's the bottom line. Juries ensure that B.C.'s justice system is in tune with what British Columbians think and feel.  Take that away and we'll all be worse off.

Category: Car Accidents

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