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Court Testimony from Experts @ BEC

Excerpt from Grennan Estate v. Alton

[79] The Plaintiff's case for damages is based on the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Duncan Estate v. Baddeley (1997) 196 A.R. 161 which held that a deceased's loss of capacity to earn income was an actual financial loss to his estate, and so survived his death. From that, the Court held that there should be deducted the costs (inclusive of income tax) the deceased would have incurred for his own living expenses. Additionally, other contingencies may well require some discount.

[80] Experts for the parties provided reports about their calculations of damages. Ms. Brown for the Plaintiff, gave evidence that she made her calculations on two alternative bases: either a 50% or 35% deduction from the present value of the lost earnings to reflect Ms. Grennan's own personal living expenses; and on two different scenarios - that she would, or would not, finish High School. These calculations had similar variables, i.e. would Ms. Grennan have completed High School, or not? Would her own personal living expenses use up 50% or 35% (or some other percentage) of her income?

[84] Ms. Brown gave evidence before me, mostly a cross-examination of details of her report. I was impressed with her evidence, and using Ms. Brown's calculations, and assuming Ms. Grennan would not have completed High School, I therefore would assess damages as follows:


1 The 30% contingency pertained primarily to the probability that Ms. Grennan might not have survived treatment for botulism regardless of the defendant's actions.