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Court acknowledges human tendency to distort history to favour desired outcomes

In the personal injury action of Kondraczynski v. Rai 2013 BCSC 1061 the plaintiff, a 45 year old postal worker, was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Liability was admitted and the matter before the court was limited to the quantum of damages. In rendering its judgment, the court found that the plaintiff’s evidence was problematic in that she lacked credibility. The court found that her evidence presented unusual challenges in assessing the extent to which she was accurately reporting the severity and duration of the pain and impact to her earning capacity. The court found that the plaintiff’s evidence was the product of the unconscious human tendency to reconstruct and distort history in a manner that favors a desired outcome.

The plaintiff claimed non-pecuniary damages of between $80,000 and $90,000, but the court awarded the plaintiff $48,000 less 20% for failure to mitigate since she failed to act reasonably and follow the recommendations of her physician and physiotherapist.

Case law summary by; Aharon Ittah