A Surrey trucking couple awarded nearly $5 million in court after suing Volvo and other defendants over electrical problems that sent their fully loaded tractor trailer into a terrifying jack-knife on the Trans Canada Highway in 2009 has won another round in court.
Volvo Trucks North America Inc. – and National Truck Centre Inc. doing business as Pacific Coast Heavy Truck Group – appealed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies’ decision, which he rendered in 2016, but the Court of Appeal of B.C. upheld it on Nov. 2, in Vancouver.
The appellants challenged the findings of liability and assessment of damages.
“I find no basis upon which this court may interfere with the judgment,” concluded Justice Mary Saunders, of the appeal court, with Justices John Hunter and Anne MacKenzie concurring.
The crash happened on a snowy winter night near Falcon Lake, Manitoba.
Amandeep Hans and his wife Pavandeep Hans were heading down the highway, Davies noted in 2016, when “darkness enveloped the truck.” All electrical power — including headlights, power steering, fog lights and interior lights — was lost. Amandeep Hans, the driver, lost control of the truck at 70 km.
Davies found the crash had rendered Mr. Hans “a shadow of his former self physically, emotionally and socially” and left Mrs. Hans with post traumatic stress disorder.
The couple sued Volvo et al, claiming Volvo was negligent in designing, manufacturing and installing a critical cab positive terminal connection in the truck, causing its electrical system to shut down which led to the crash.
Davies found the nut on the cab positive terminal of the truck had been negligently installed by Volvo and awarded the Hans $280,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $160,000 to Mrs. Hans in the form of an “In-trust” award, $198,868.75 to cover the cost of care Mr. Hans has already received, $1,781,000 for future care, and $2,442,826 in lost income earning capacity for a total award of $4,867.694.75.