Addy v. Goulet, 2023 ONSC 1265

Shortly after her 30th birthday, the plaintiff was injured at a bar where bocce was played near an outdoor patio seating area. The defendant Goulet tossed a ball to a friend standing near the plaintiff. The friend did not know the ball had been thrown to him and it hit the plaintiff in the back of the head. Prior to trial the plaintiff and the bar defendants entered into a Pierringer agreement and the trial proceed as against Goulet only. Goulet argued that the bar was liable for lack of signage and lack of a barrier between the bocce court and the patio seating. Justice Williams accepted that the lack of signage fell below the applicable standard of care, but found that there was no causal relationship between the lack of signage and the plaintiff’s injury. Justice Williams was unable to find that the lack of barrier was negligent as no expert evidence was led on the standard of care required of a bocce field. Goulet was found 100% liable.

In terms of damages the plaintiff suffered ongoing headaches, fatigue, and neuropsychological impairments resulting from post-concussion syndrome. She continued to work but was unable to maintain the same level of participation in her employment as before the incident. Her social life was more limited and she had less energy to complete daily activities. Justice Williams awarded: $125,000 in general damages; $23,733.80 for out of pocket expenses; $142,272.68 (plus gross-up) for future care costs; $228,093 for past loss of income; and $1,082,800 (plus gross up) in future loss of income.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited v. Wood Group Mustang (Canada ) Inc. (IMV Projects Inc.), 2018 ABCA 305

This Alberta Court of Appeal decision deals with Pierringer agreements in the context of fault allocation in the negligent construction and operation of a pipeline. With respect to Pierringer agreements, all three Justices upheld the existing rule “that a settling Plaintiff must account to the non-settling Defendant for any recovery in excess of its actual damages”. The Alberta Court of Appeal noted that other Canadian appellate courts, including the Ontario Court of Appeal in Laudon v. Roberts, had also arrived at this conclusion.