Wrongful Death Law Reform Group

August 11, 2009

Filed under: General Posts — wrongfuldeathreform @ 10:35 am

One of the reasons there is such difficulty at the policy level for implementing appropriate Wrongful Death laws in BC is the hang-up over the amount of damages a court should award for the wrongful taking of a life.

If life has an infinite value, then what’s the value of 2 lives? Two times infinity is still infinity. Is the value of a four year old child’s life greater than that of a Clifford Olsen? Most people would say yes. Legislative attempts to put a standard value on a life, as Alberta has done with its mere $75,000 cap, is terribly unjust.

It is impossible to place perfect dollar amounts on the value of a life in death cases, just as it is impossible to do so in injury cases. However it is grossly unjust to disqualify jurors from doing so because it is a difficult task. In injury cases, once a loss has been identified there is a duty on the jury or judge to assess damages. It makes no sense for legislators to get hung-up on the point.

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