21 Oct Assault During Domestic Dispute Leads To An Award For Damages

In the case of Newell v. Levesque, 2019 BCSC 998, the Defendant choked and hit the Plaintiff during a domestic dispute. The Plaintiff suffered bruising to his head and face, pain and stiffness, injury to his cervical spine, headaches, facial lacerations, and fear and depression. The effects of the battery persisted for about a year.

The Defendant alleged that he was defending himself. However, the judge found the Plaintiff had proven that the battery took place and that he was entitled to an award of damages.

The Defendant has been criminally prosecuted for his offence against the Plaintiff so the judge was not prepared to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish or deter, and punishment has already been achieved in this case.

Aggravated damages may be awarded to assuage injured feelings. The evidence was that the Plaintiff was humiliated by the battery and the judge accepted that he was embarrassed. He was awarded $500 under this head.

The judge also awarded the Plaintiff $8,000 for pain and suffering, $1,000 for his lost income and $1,571 in respect of the claim made pursuant to the Health Care Costs Recovery Act. No award for costs (except disbursements) was made because the total amount awarded fell within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court.