25 May Credibility of the Plaintiff is Key in a Personal Injury Trial

In Gupta v. Doe, 2015 BCSC 608, the Plaintiff asked the trial judge to make significant awards for pain and suffering, past wage loss, and loss of future earning capacity following three motor vehicle collisions. However, in his reasons for judgment Mr. Justice Jenkins made modest awards for pain and suffering and past wage loss, and rejected the Plaintiff’s claim for loss of future earning capacity entirely.                                                                     

In reaching his judgment, the Judge placed significant emphasis on the Plaintiff’s lack of credibility. The Judge found that the Plaintiff was exaggerating many of her symptoms, had not been truthful with respect to her career goals and had been deceitful with her previous employer.

 As a result, the Judge was unable to accept the Plaintiff’s claims for damages where relevant, independent, and objective supporting evidence did not exist. This is yet another case that emphasizes the need for adequate trial preparation. Plaintiffs must work closely with their legal counsel to ensure that they present their case in an objective manner; particularly when testifying to the extent of their injuries following a motor vehicle collision.