On August 2, 2002, the lives of 15-year-old Katherine P.M. and her family changed forever. Katherine was a back-seat passenger in a car driving towards a highway intersection. It was dark and the driver’s headlights tended to fog up and did not throw a lot of light. Unknown to the driver, there was no checkerboard sign indicating that the road would end. The driver did not see the stop sign and drove at a high speed into the intersection. The car became airborne and landed on the other side of the highway.
Katherine suffered devastating injuries and doctors told her parents that she was not expected to survive. She had suffered massive head injuries, facial fractures, and spinal fractures. But after months in rehabilitation centres, where she received wonderful care from very skillful and caring healthcare professionals, she determinedly worked towards recovery.
Katherine was then discharged home to the care of her parents. They took over where the hospital staff left off and made many personal sacrifices. Her parents worked incredibly hard with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals to help Katherine with her rehabilitation. But even with all the help she was receiving, it became obvious that she would never work at gainful employment and would require around-the-clock care. Katherine’s injuries and losses were substantial. So were the losses of her family.
Those responsible for the crash were not prepared to settle the case for a fair amount, so Katherine and her family courageously contacted a law firm of the Personal Injury Alliance™ to take their case to trial. During the trial, expert evidence on the extent and severity of the damage done to Katherine’s brain was provided by some of the best brain injury specialists in the country. Evidence was also provided on the future consequences of the injury by some of the best life-care planners, economists, and accountants in the country. Katherine and her family prevailed. The trial judge assessed the damages of Katherine and her family to $18,427,207.20 — the highest amount ever awarded in a personal injury case in Canada.
The family’s ordeal is not over. An appeal has been launched regarding an insurance coverage issue. However, given the in-depth analysis of the case, we are confident that they will succeed and receive the full amount they deserve.