Re: Bike courier 'pummelled' by road rager awarded $22,500

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Stephen, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Guest

    Kevan Smith wrote:
    > This happened in Zoot's neck of the woods, Vancounver, BC:
    >
    > "Bicycle courier Andrei Stadnyk had just ended his second week on the job and
    > was heading home on one of the "ugliest" days of the year, with the cold
    > biting and the rain pelting down.
    >
    > "It got worse. A vicious road-rage encounter with an angry BMW driver left him
    > with a steel plate in his fractured jaw and permanently altered the course of
    > his life...."
    >
    > The rest is here:
    >
    > http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=73604304-e693-4c2e-9572-a63ea92750ff
    >
    > Is Canada so different fromt he U.S. that the damages awarded are that low? It
    > seems to me that the courier has a legitimate need for much more. The rest of
    > his life is fucked up.
    >
    > --
    > Kevan Smith
    > [email protected]


    Yes, it is. Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    cases they'll award punitive damages as well. We have Medicare, so he
    doesn't have any hospital bills. Maybe some prescriptions, but most of
    the damages would have been awarded for missed work, etc.

    I think in Canada we hear about huge awards given in the US for
    apparently ridiculous claims, and have decided to try and avoid that
    happening here.

    I don't see in the article where it indicates the rest of his life is
    f***ed up. He had a tough time, but he's young. Even after that
    incident the article states that he just left his courier job last
    month. Now he's going to school. He even seems to have gotten a little
    perspective. Sounds more like he's getting his life together.
     
    Tags:


  2. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 23:56:12 GMT, Stephen <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Yes, it is. Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    >suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    >them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    >cases they'll award punitive damages as well. We have Medicare, so he
    >doesn't have any hospital bills. Maybe some prescriptions, but most of
    >the damages would have been awarded for missed work, etc.
    >
    >I think in Canada we hear about huge awards given in the US for
    >apparently ridiculous claims, and have decided to try and avoid that
    >happening here.
    >
    >I don't see in the article where it indicates the rest of his life is
    >f***ed up. He had a tough time, but he's young. Even after that
    >incident the article states that he just left his courier job last
    >month. Now he's going to school. He even seems to have gotten a little
    >perspective. Sounds more like he's getting his life together.


    Tough crowd here. Doesn't this guy have any buds who could go rip off this
    BMW guy's head? I mean where else can you find a judge that will acquit a
    guy who does such a beating to a kid? Certainly he'd acquit the buddy that
    might put the BMW guy in the hospital, right? <g>

    -B
     
  3. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >Stephen [email protected]

    wrote in part:

    >Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    >suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    >them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    >cases they'll award punitive damages as well.


    That seems to be a pretty reasonable approach IMO. The thread title is my only
    source of information since I don't have any intention of subscribing to yet
    another newspaper's online edition. Unless said beating resulted in some type
    of permanent disability I'd have to say that although it isn't winning the
    lottery $22,500 (Canadian, I presume) is a hefty chunk of change.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  4. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On 01 Sep 2004 02:06:17 GMT, [email protected] (Hunrobe) wrote:

    >>Stephen [email protected]

    >
    >wrote in part:
    >
    >>Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    >>suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    >>them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    >>cases they'll award punitive damages as well.

    >
    >That seems to be a pretty reasonable approach IMO. The thread title is my only
    >source of information since I don't have any intention of subscribing to yet
    >another newspaper's online edition. Unless said beating resulted in some type
    >of permanent disability I'd have to say that although it isn't winning the
    >lottery $22,500 (Canadian, I presume) is a hefty chunk of change.
    >
    >Regards,
    >Bob Hunt


    I'll take my original parts - you can keep the 22K, a paltry sum, imo, for
    a beating and psychological impact and a titanium plate in my head.

    -B
    BTW, the link worked for me with no subscription.
     
  5. Hunrobe wrote:

    >>Stephen [email protected]

    >
    >
    > wrote in part:
    >
    >
    >>Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    >>suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    >>them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    >>cases they'll award punitive damages as well.

    >
    >
    > That seems to be a pretty reasonable approach IMO. The thread title is my only
    > source of information since I don't have any intention of subscribing to yet
    > another newspaper's online edition.


    Not necessary in this case.


    > Unless said beating resulted in some type
    > of permanent disability I'd have to say that although it isn't winning the
    > lottery $22,500 (Canadian, I presume) is a hefty chunk of change.


    Out of curiosity: Would you voluntarily submit to that level of injury
    for $22,500 Canadian?


    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  6. Stephen Ray

    Stephen Ray Guest

    Kevan Smith wrote:
    > On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 23:56:12 GMT, Stephen <[email protected]> from wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I don't see in the article where it indicates the rest of his life is
    >>f***ed up.

    >
    >
    > You didn't read the part about the metal plate in his jaw? That's going to
    > mess up the rest of his life. Also, after a beating that severe, there is no
    > telling what damage may surface from it in the future. One day, a crucial
    > artery weakened in the incident and subsequent surgery may burst and there
    > goes his life.
    >
    >


    I don't know... if at the age of 22, a metal plate in his jaw is going
    to mess up the rest of his life, he'd better spend the settlement on
    psychological assistance. As for the possibility of future
    life-threatening consequences as a result of his beating, that's very
    speculative. I doubt very much that a Canadian court would grant
    damages based on that. If it seemed likely that there might be
    additional complications, they might pad the settlement slightly, but
    not to lottery-winning proportions.

    I know in the US court system, a lot of what-ifs and speculation can be
    used to increase the size of settlements. The courts have been pretty
    consistent in saying that they won't play that game here. Also, a year
    or two ago, the Supreme Court ruled that punitive damages would only be
    applied under extraordinary circumstances, IIRC.

    I feel sorry for the guy, I really do. But to say his life is ruined
    seems to be suggesting that he doesn't have the character to overcome
    adversity, or that he should spend the rest of his life feeling sorry
    for himself. The guy who did that to him should have been punished
    severely, but got off in criminal court. It'd be nice to nail him in
    civil court for that, but in Canada, civil court is for reclamation of
    costs and damages.
     
  7. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Stephen Ray wrote in part:

    << I feel sorry for the guy, I really do. >>


    I guess I feel sorry for him. Kid's gotta
    learn though. Really he is lucky to get
    off with just a plate. The American
    version of that encounter ends with
    the kid getting shot, stabbed, or
    beat to death.

    He spits on the guy's car, then sticks
    around for Greco-Roman
    wrestling, then gets beat
    Pesci style on the street. Sounds
    like the BMW driver is guilty of
    assault and the kid is getting a
    dose of reality in the big city
    (and a new car probably).

    Rookie couriers! What're ya
    gonna do?

    Robert
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Wed, 01 Sep 2004 01:24:39 -0400, <41355b9e[email protected]>,
    Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Unless said beating resulted in some type
    >> of permanent disability I'd have to say that although it isn't winning the
    >> lottery $22,500 (Canadian, I presume) is a hefty chunk of change.

    >
    >Out of curiosity: Would you voluntarily submit to that level of injury
    >for $22,500 Canadian?


    "He approached her, said words to the effect that _the plaintiff had
    *nearly* hit his car_, and gestured toward her as if also inviting her
    to fight him" (quoted from article, emphasis added)

    IMO, this violent brat shouldn't be licensed to operate a vehicle.
    --
    zk
     
  9. Badger_South wrote:
    > On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 23:56:12 GMT, Stephen <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Yes, it is. Courts in Canada have decided that because pain and
    >>suffering is so subjective, they will not usually award money based on
    >>them. Instead, they base awards on actual economic losses and in rare
    >>cases they'll award punitive damages as well. We have Medicare, so he
    >>doesn't have any hospital bills. Maybe some prescriptions, but most of
    >>the damages would have been awarded for missed work, etc.
    >>
    >>I think in Canada we hear about huge awards given in the US for
    >>apparently ridiculous claims, and have decided to try and avoid that
    >>happening here.
    >>
    >>I don't see in the article where it indicates the rest of his life is
    >>f***ed up. He had a tough time, but he's young. Even after that
    >>incident the article states that he just left his courier job last
    >>month. Now he's going to school. He even seems to have gotten a little
    >>perspective. Sounds more like he's getting his life together.

    >
    >
    > Tough crowd here. Doesn't this guy have any buds who could go rip off this
    > BMW guy's head? I mean where else can you find a judge that will acquit a
    > guy who does such a beating to a kid? Certainly he'd acquit the buddy that
    > might put the BMW guy in the hospital, right? <g>
    >
    > -B
    >
    >

    Keep in mind that the cyclist *did not* show up to the criminal trial to
    testify against his attacker. I don't fault the judge for acquitting
    the guy in that situation.

    Jeff
     
  10. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >Frank Krygowski [email protected]

    wrote in part:

    >Out of curiosity: Would you voluntarily submit to that level of injury
    >for $22,500 Canadian?


    I don't know why I was denied access when I followed that link earlier but it
    worked this time. I've read the article now and I'll stand by my statement that
    the award seems reasonable.
    You may disagree on that of course but as for your question, you know its a
    silly one. Of course I wouldn't volunteer but that has nothing at all to do
    with the fairness of the award. I wouldn't volunteer to have my thumb bashed
    with a hammer for $500 US either but does that mean that $500 US would be an
    unfair award for a passing clumsiness and the temporary loss of a thumbnail?

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  11. Hunrobe wrote:

    >>Frank Krygowski [email protected]

    >
    >
    > wrote in part:
    >
    >
    >>Out of curiosity: Would you voluntarily submit to that level of injury
    >>for $22,500 Canadian?

    >
    >
    > I don't know why I was denied access when I followed that link earlier but it
    > worked this time. I've read the article now and I'll stand by my statement that
    > the award seems reasonable.
    > You may disagree on that of course but as for your question, you know its a
    > silly one. Of course I wouldn't volunteer but that has nothing at all to do
    > with the fairness of the award. I wouldn't volunteer to have my thumb bashed
    > with a hammer for $500 US either but does that mean that $500 US would be an
    > unfair award for a passing clumsiness and the temporary loss of a thumbnail?
    >


    It's a serious question.

    Assessing a reasonable damage for unwanted actions is no easy task.

    Read _Risk_ by John Adams. On the advice of another poster, I recently
    read it. As Adams eloquently points out, the dollar value of events
    like these is _much_ different when viewed from different perspectives.

    And incidentally, "passing clumsiness" is one thing. Deliberate attack
    is another. The idea of equating them is "a silly one."

    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  12. Hunrobe wrote:

    >>Frank Krygowski [email protected]

    >
    >
    > wrote in part:
    >
    >
    >>Out of curiosity: Would you voluntarily submit to that level of injury
    >>for $22,500 Canadian?

    >
    >
    > I don't know why I was denied access when I followed that link earlier but it
    > worked this time. I've read the article now and I'll stand by my statement that
    > the award seems reasonable.
    > You may disagree on that of course but as for your question, you know its a
    > silly one. Of course I wouldn't volunteer but that has nothing at all to do
    > with the fairness of the award. I wouldn't volunteer to have my thumb bashed
    > with a hammer for $500 US either but does that mean that $500 US would be an
    > unfair award for a passing clumsiness and the temporary loss of a thumbnail?
    >


    It's a serious question.

    Assessing a reasonable damage for unwanted actions is no easy task.

    Read _Risk_ by John Adams. On the advice of another poster, I recently
    read it. As Adams eloquently points out, the dollar value of events
    like these is _much_ different when viewed from different perspectives.

    And incidentally, "passing clumsiness" is one thing. Deliberate attack
    is another. The idea of equating them is "a silly one."

    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  13. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner Guest

    Frank Krygowski wrote:

    > And incidentally, "passing clumsiness" is one thing. Deliberate
    > attack is another. The idea of equating them is "a silly one."


    True, those are different, but that should not matter for the purpose of
    calculating damages. If the measure of damages in a civil action is
    compensation for plaintiff's loss, not punishment of the defendant, then
    the amount awarded should be the same whether for negligence, wilfull and
    wanton conduct, or deliberate attack.

    --
    Paul Turner
     
  14. Paul Turner wrote:
    > Frank Krygowski wrote:
    >
    >
    >>And incidentally, "passing clumsiness" is one thing. Deliberate
    >>attack is another. The idea of equating them is "a silly one."

    >
    >
    > True, those are different, but that should not matter for the purpose of
    > calculating damages. If the measure of damages in a civil action is
    > compensation for plaintiff's loss, not punishment of the defendant, then
    > the amount awarded should be the same whether for negligence, wilfull and
    > wanton conduct, or deliberate attack.


    I don't think so. We're not talking about commodity items with an
    indisputable market value. We're talking about damage to one's body,
    with all the unique personal and psychological complications that brings.

    For example, damage a person's knuckle, so one finger has a little less
    agility. What's a fair "price" for that?

    To a ditch digger, perhaps very little. For an amateur musician who can
    no longer play the instrument he loves, perhaps much more. For a
    sentimental old lady who can no longer wear her departed husband's ring,
    perhaps even more. (For a musical old lady who works as a ditch digger,
    I can't even guess!)

    My point is, the "price" is so intensely personal it can only be judged
    by the person who was harmed; and to expect that the psychological
    effect of a deliberate attack won't enter into the matter is silly.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com.
    Substitute cc dot ysu dot
    edu]
     
  15. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >Frank Krygowski [email protected]

    wrote:

    >It's a serious question.
    >
    >Assessing a reasonable damage for unwanted actions is no easy task.
    >
    >Read _Risk_ by John Adams. On the advice of another poster, I recently
    >read it. As Adams eloquently points out, the dollar value of events
    >like these is _much_ different when viewed from different perspectives.
    >
    >And incidentally, "passing clumsiness" is one thing. Deliberate attack
    >is another. The idea of equating them is "a silly one."


    The punitive damages awarded- that portion added because it was a deliberate
    attack- were $2500. In my job I've been in many physical altercations that I
    didn't get a nickel extra for. I also had fights in my youth that didn't pay me
    a dime. The compensatory damages were $20,000. My left femur was shattered an
    inch or so above the knee in 1977 while working at a car dealership. I spent
    the following two months in traction and then another thirteen months in a
    cast. Total award as computed under workman's compensation formulas- $25,000
    US. The kid in the news story got his butt kicked in a street fight that left
    him with a broken jaw. Even taking into account inflation and exchange rates,
    I'd say the award was a fair one.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt

    P.S.- Since you say it is a serious question, show me a certified cashier's
    check for $20,000 US and we'll talk. <g> Failing that, what do *you* think the
    award should have been?
     
  16. Hunrobe wrote:

    >
    >
    > The punitive damages awarded- that portion added because it was a deliberate
    > attack- were $2500.


    Yep. Seems pitifully small to me - and I'm not a fan of hot-coffee
    lawsuits.


    In my job I've been in many physical altercations that I
    > didn't get a nickel extra for. I also had fights in my youth that didn't pay me
    > a dime.


    Bob, being a street cop - like being a bouncer, a boxer or a soldier -
    is volunteering for a certain amount of fighting. The nickles you
    normally get are supposed to cover that.

    And I imagine we all got into fights as kids. A certain amount of
    "rassling" is normal. A broken jaw is not - especially when you're an
    adult just trying to use the roadway.

    The compensatory damages were $20,000. My left femur was shattered an
    > inch or so above the knee in 1977 while working at a car dealership. I spent
    > the following two months in traction and then another thirteen months in a
    > cast. Total award as computed under workman's compensation formulas- $25,000
    > US. The kid in the news story got his butt kicked in a street fight that left
    > him with a broken jaw. Even taking into account inflation and exchange rates,
    > I'd say the award was a fair one.


    When you adjust for inflation and exchange rates, your compensation was
    four times his - about $78,000 US in 2004. Perhaps if we got all the
    details of his treatement and prognosis, then compared with yours, we
    might say that's fair just on an injury-to-injury basis.

    However, as I said in a different post, this sort of judgement varies a
    great deal depending on one's perspective. And I think most people
    would want more than this guy's $17,300 US to get a jaw broken and go
    through surgery. It depends who's buying and who's selling.


    A classic example of the thinking that needs to go into this is price
    setting during eminent domain proceedings.

    "Say, would you be interested in selling this old house you're living in?"

    "Absolutely not, sonny. It's been in the family for generations. I was
    born here, I raised my family here, my husband's buried out back with my
    parents and my infant son. I'll be here until I die, and no money could
    make me change my mind."

    "Well, too bad. Our professional appraiser says it's worth only
    $18,000, and we need the land for the new freeway bypass."

    What's the house _really_ worth? Depends on your viewpoint.


    What's a perfectly functioning jaw worth? Depends on your viewpoint.
    And I'd say that when the jaw is ruined by deliberate attack, that
    should affect the viewpoint. It's different than, say, an unfortunate
    accident at work.



    > P.S.- Since you say it is a serious question, show me a certified cashier's
    > check for $20,000 US and we'll talk. <g> Failing that, what do *you* think the
    > award should have been?


    Broken jaw, deliberate attack, surgical repair with the risks that
    involves? If someone wanted to pay me up front for that, they could
    start with at _least_ $75,000, and I think my wife would want me to ask
    more.


    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  17. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >Frank Krygowski [email protected]

    wrote in part:

    >Broken jaw, deliberate attack, surgical repair with the risks that
    >involves? If someone wanted to pay me up front for that, they could
    >start with at _least_ $75,000, and I think my wife would want me to ask
    >more.


    I snipped the rest because we obviously must once again agree to disagree but
    at those prices I feel morally obligated to suggest that, if you are ever
    involved in any confrontation, before you even *consider* any course of action
    except flight you'll want to run credit checks on any and all potential
    combatants. <g>

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  18. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Frank Krygowski wrote in part:

    << Bob, being a street cop - like being a bouncer, a boxer or a soldier -
    is volunteering for a certain amount of fighting. The nickles you
    normally get are supposed to cover that.>>

    <<And I imagine we all got into fights as kids. A certain amount of
    "rassling" is normal. A broken jaw is not - especially when you're an
    adult just trying to use the roadway. >>

    Nah, the kid is not a pure victim. It's not like he was
    just cruising along and got jumped. Not only did he
    choose to accept the garden-variety challenge from
    the driver, he escalated dramatically by spitting on his
    BMW. That's a commitment right there. Then, he
    decides to fight. In hockey terms, he threw down his
    gloves. Turns out his mouth had written some checks
    that the rest of him couldn't cash.

    I think the driver went overboard in his administration
    of street justice and should have been convicted of
    assault. I also think the kid was entitled to some
    restitution, but that he asked for his beating to some
    degree and got kinda lucky with his busted jaw. Often
    these one-sided incidents end with the loser dead or
    handicapped for life.

    The kid had probably used his aggressive response with
    great success once or twice previously, causing
    bitchy drivers to wither satisfyingly as he berated
    them and spat on their vehicles. Then he met this
    guy.

    Road-raging drivers should know there are some
    psycho messengers out there as well. Best to think
    before you open your mouth, is the moral of this
    story.

    Robert
     
  19. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    03 Sep 2004 03:20:11 GMT,
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Hunrobe) wrote:

    >
    >>Broken jaw, deliberate attack, surgical repair with the risks that
    >>involves? If someone wanted to pay me up front for that, they could
    >>start with at _least_ $75,000, and I think my wife would want me to ask
    >>more.

    >

    His lawyer was looking for 30 - 50 K.

    >I snipped the rest because we obviously must once again agree to disagree but
    >at those prices I feel morally obligated to suggest that, if you are ever
    >involved in any confrontation, before you even *consider* any course of action
    >except flight you'll want to run credit checks on any and all potential
    >combatants. <g>



    In BC, victims of certain types of crimes, assault and aggravated
    assault being just two of them, are often awarded compensation from a
    provincial fund. The legislation also covers "good samaritans" who
    become victims themselves.
    --
    zk
     
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