Developments in Tort Law: The 1993-94 Term
Supreme Court Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 2, p. 487, 1995
29 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2008
In the 1993-94 Term the Supreme Court of Canada decided nine torts cases. Some of the issues treated in these decisions raise fundamental questions for the proper understanding of tort law. Three of these, Cunningham v. Wheeler, Cooper v. Miller, and Shanks v. McNee, all concerned the vexing question of when to deduct collateral benefits from damages, and were dealt with under one set of judgments. Two others, Brown v. British Columbia (Minister ofTransportation and Highways) and Swinamer v.Nova Scotia (Attorney General), both of which concerned negligence actions against public authorities, while treated separately in different judgments, involved much overlap in the judicial opinions offered. This review of the 1993-94 Term will deal with these five cases in some detail in Parts II and III.
This leaves four cases, each of which received independent treatment from the Court. Two of these Gibney v. Gilliland and Granville Savings and Mortgage Co. v. Slevin are hardly worth a mention. However, the remaining two tort cases the Court chose to during hear this Term are more interesting. The first of these, Galaske v. O'Donnell, which dealt with a driver's duties to ensure that child passengers wear seat-belts, is discussed briefly in Part IV. The other case, Toneguzzo-Norvell v. Burnaby Hospital, which dealt with measures of damages, including measures of lost earnings that might reflect systemic future discrimination against female infant plaintiffs, is discussed at more length in Part V.
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