Donald Blenus v. Charles Fraser

(Nova Scotia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Damages — Quantum — Loss of income — Diminished earning capacity — Mitigation – Causation — Applicant involved in motor vehicle accident with respondent — Applicant formerly operating general construction business – Business shut down in years following accident — Did the trial judge err in his assessment of damages related to loss of income and/or diminished earning capacity?


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The applicant, Mr. Blenus, suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident. He sued the respondent, Mr. Fraser, for damages. Though liability was admitted by Mr. Fraser, damages and their causation were at issue in the courts below. The trial judge denied Mr. Blenus’s claims for loss of income and diminished earning capacity. He rejected the premise that the injuries caused Mr. Blenus to close his profitable construction business, resulting in financial loss, and he found that Mr. Blenus could have mitigated any financial loss but elected not to do so. On appeal, Mr. Blenus continued to contend that the judge erred by failing to award any amount of damage for these claims. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. It noted that Mr. Blenus did not demonstrate any error committed by the judge.

Lower Court Rulings

March 2, 2021
Supreme Court of Nova Scotia

2021 NSSC 79, Ken No. 441592
General damages of $100,000, damages for loss of housekeeping and valuable services of $25,000, and damages for cost of future care of $25,000 awarded to applicant; damages reduced by 25 percent due to failure to mitigate
December 7, 2022
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

2022 NSCA 73, CA 508019
Appeal dismissed