Popping the Cap (Comment)

[2020] McGill Journal of Law and Health Online

4 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020 Last revised: 19 Oct 2020

See all articles by Phil Lord

Phil Lord

Université de Moncton - Faculty of Law; McGill University - Faculty of Law; York University - Osgoode Hall Law School


Over 40 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada set an “upper limit” on the amounts which can be awarded as compensation for the non-pecuniary component of a bodily injury. This upper limit is now an effective cap. While the interpretation of the principles first set out by the Court has evolved, the cap has enjoyed a surprising and unusual stability, even as our society has changed. This short essay preliminarily sets out my thoughts on the cap, how it is understood by our courts, and the arguments which could lead to its abolition.

Keywords: Andrews, Thornton, Arnold, Teno, personal injury, private law, tort, prejudice, damages, harm, cap, compensation, non-pecuniary, bodily injury, pain and suffering, quadriplegic

Suggested Citation

Lord, Phil, Popping the Cap (Comment). [2020] McGill Journal of Law and Health Online, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3537878 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3537878

Phil Lord (Contact Author)

Université de Moncton - Faculty of Law ( email )

18 Antonine-Maillet Ave
Moncton, NB E1A 3E9

HOME PAGE: http://www.mylawyer.ca

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1W9

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

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