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McComb Witten Marcoux

British Columbia Motorcycle Accident Victim Loses Appeal

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

Posted on Mar 23, 2013

A Vancouver motorcycle accident lawyer at McComb Witten has been following the story of Donald Wayne Desharnais, who suffered injuries in two separate motorcycle accidents in British Columbia.

In August 2011, a jury in the British Columbia Superior Court awarded him compensation for pain and suffering and special damages relating to those accidents. However, he was not awarded compensation for loss of earnings or future care.

Desharnais appealed the decision, but the British Columbia Court of Appeals dismissed it on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Desharnais had been an Air Canada pilot. He went on stress leave in the summer of 2006. While on leave, he slipped while parking his motorcycle in his driveway, severely injuring his back.

In June 2006, Desharnais was involved in a motorcycle wreck with a car driven by Daniel McCaffrey. He suffered severe, painful back injuries, which led to back surgery in 2010.

A year later, in August 2007, Desharnais was hit again when another driver, John Romanowski, backed into his bike.

Desharnais ultimately sued McCaffrey, Romanowski, and Shannon Parkhurst, the owner of Romanowski's vehicle.

In August 2011, a British Columbia jury awarded Desharnais $31,000 for his injuries. McCaffrey was ordered to pay the lion's share of the damages, but Parkhurst and Romanoswki were each asked to pay over $3,000 for pain and special damages.

Unsatisfied with this verdict, Desharnais appealed on several grounds. Among his arguments, he said that the counselor for the defense asked inflammatory questions about his background and lifestyle.

Although the jury believed that the motorcycle accidents led to emotional and physical injuries, they ruled that the 2006 crash "[failed to] cause or contribute to the claimant's current physical condition" and that the 2007 crash also did not "aggravate the injuries sustained by the claimant."

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