Dairn Shane and Joseph Fearon were successful at the Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark ruling on psychological injuries. Mr. Shane argued the case at all levels of appeal and was also counsel at trial.
Mr. Saadati suffered serious psychological injuries as a result of multiple car accidents. The Court of Appeal ruled that he was not entitled to any compensation, finding he had to meet a more difficult legal test because his injuries were psychological in nature and not physical. Mr. Shane appealed their ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Brown found that Canadian law includes important rights protecting their mental health:
That right is grounded in the simple truth that a person’s mental health — like a person’s physical integrity or property … is an essential means by which that person chooses to live life and pursue goals … And, where mental injury is negligently inflicted, a person’s autonomy to make those choices is undeniably impaired, sometimes to an even greater degree than the impairment which follows a serious physical injury … To put the point more starkly, “[t]he loss of our mental health is a more fundamental violation of our sense of self than the loss of a finger” …
In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada restored Mr. Saadati’s compensation and found that psychological injuries should not be treated differently than physical injuries. To do otherwise would be unfair and only perpetuate misguided prejudices about mental illness and mental injuries.
This important ruling will allow more people with psychological injuries to be able to access compensation, an important step in the right direction for Canadian personal injury law.
You can read the decision here: https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/16664/index.do
If you or someone you know has suffered a psychological injury, you can call 1-800-JUSTICE today for a free case evaluation.