Shelly Ann Petz v. Patrick Duguay

(Alberta) (Civil) (By Leave)


Torts - Negligence, Damages - Torts — Negligence — Personal injury — Causation — Damages — Applicant injured in motor vehicle accident seeking damages for, inter alia, ongoing chronic pain and somatic symptom disorder — Trial judge limiting damages limited to those suffered before October 2008 — What is law regarding causation of mental injuries? — Does practice of all medicine and psychiatry hinge on subjective evidence, despite experts insisting they use objective measures? — Under what circumstances can trial judge deny presence of mental illness based finding of poor credibility due to symptoms of same mental illness? — On what basis can trial judge conclude differently from experts on psychiatric diagnosis? — Can court accept expert evidence that SSD exists, but reject same expert evidence when dealing with causation? — Do Athey and Clements apply to mental injury? — Does appeal court need to review evidence for palpable and overriding error in appeal on matters of fact?



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Ms. Petz and Mr. Duguay were involved in a motor vehicle accident in September 2004. Ms. Petz, a passenger in the vehicle, was injured in the collision. She brought an action for damages against Mr. Duguay, who admitted liability. At trial, the primary issues concerned causation and what damages flowed from the accident. Ms. Petz maintained that her chronic pain persisted to the date of trial.