Ponyicky v Sawayama

Ponyicky v Sawayama

Ponyicky v Sawayama and Sawayama, [1942] 58 BCR 299
The plaintiff appealed to increase the amount of money given to him as compensation following the death of his wife in a motor accident, struck by a vehicle being driven by one of the defendants. The sum in question was originally set at $125. The defendant cross-appealed, stating that the husband should not be paid any additional damages, having already received $1,000 “for her loss of expectation of life” (301) and $750 for the same of his 15 month old daughter, payments that neither party disputed. Ponyicky argued that this amount was too small, taking “no account of his loss of consortium” and presenting “no real compensation” for that loss, (302) while Sawayama insisted that this money should not be given at all. Chief Justice McDonald explains that “damages for ‘consortium’” (302) are usually granted to husbands only when their wives have been injured, not for fatal incidents. He would have dismissed the appeal and permitted the cross-appeal against the awarding of the $125, but altered his judgement to accord with that of Justices McQuarrie, Fisher, and Sloan, who suggested dismissing the appeal and cross-appeal “with a set-off as to costs.” (304) Justice O’Halloran dissented from that judgement. He asserts that the $125 was “wholly insufficient,” stressing the “favorable marital conditions” indicated by “the evidence” and the “pecuniary value” of a wife’s “household and conjugal duties.” (306) He proposed $7,500 damages.



Ponyicky v Sawayama


Researcher: Monique F. Ulysses
Researcher: Lauren Chalaturnyk
Metadata author: Connell Parish
Metadata author: Gordon Lyall
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Source: British Columbia Court of Appeal. British Columbia Reports. 1942.


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