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Excerpt from Guthmiller v. Krahn

[2000] A.J. No. 773 (QL) (Alta. Q.B.) [McIntyre J., Judicial District of Medicine Hat].

Past Loss of Income


[35] I find Cara Brown's calculation of past loss of wages conservative and appropriate. I consider it appropriate to include unemployment insurance benefits he received in calculating income lost because his ability to work qualified him for unemployment income. See Webb v. Exide Electronics Ltd., [1999] N.S.J. No. 228 (N.S.C.A.); N.C. v. Blank, [1998] O.J. No. 2544 and Harlow v. Thompson, [1995] B.C.J. No. 2379, and McDonald v. Nguyen, [1991] A.J. No. 1239.

[36] I therefore accept the pre-trial loss of income as $150,717 less $31,200 received in Section B benefits, for a total of $119,517. Future Loss of Income

[37] I accept that the best employment for Guthmiller is that of a surveyor. He will require training for this occupation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Surveying will allow him to be outdoors and to move around a lot. Surveyors make less than heavy equipment operators. I thought Brown's assessment of the expected difference in income between Guthmiller as a hoe operator and as a survey technician was appropriate. In particular, her assessment of survey technician salaries included speaking to officials at the Survey and Mapping program at S.A.I.T. to arrive at projected incomes for surveyors. She also used statistical data that were confirmed by the S.A.I.T. information, and, most importantly, by the evidence of Mr. Alexander, a survey technician who has 42 years experience. After working in the area since 1953, Alexander's salary had reached $40,000. This is actual, as opposed to statistical, information that supports Brown's assessment.


Loss of Housekeeping Claim

[39] Guthmiller, whose evidence I have found credible, testified that the loss of housekeeping as a result of his injury resulted in Mrs. Guthmiller picking up 2 1/2 hours of housekeeping a week. Accepting $12.00 an hour for housekeeping costs, this amounts to $6,900 pre-trial and $21,060 future loss, which amounts are hereby awarded. (There was no specific argument as to the appropriate hourly amount, unlike, e.g., Labbee v. Peters (1997), 201 A.R. 241 (Q.B.) where I decided $10.00 an hour was appropriate for a rural rate. Brown says this equals $10.92 in 1999 dollars).