Van Sprang v. Tweed
Multiple Vehicle Accident Caused by 90 Year Old Driver: Mr. Van Sprang is a man in his 30’s with a young family and was a key person in his dad’s business which was a heating and cooling service company. Mr. Van Sprang’s father had plans to hand over the business to his son when he reached his retirement age. The work was physical and also required ingenuity and problem solving skills. Mr. Van Sprang was the “muscle” of the company, doing the heavier tasks and the more physical tasks such as working within tight crawl spaces and attics. Unfortunately, Mr. Van Sprang was involved in an accident whereby the defendant Mr. Tweed, failed to yield as he entered onto the Trans-Canada Highway at an intersection. His actions forced a commercial truck driver to move over in his lane which in turn caused Mr. Van Sprang’s vehicle to spin out of control and end up on its roof at the shoulder of the road. Mr. Van Sprang suffered soft tissue injuries which limited his ability to be as productive as he used to be, and also limited his ability to continue on in his role with the company. ICBC denied liability for this accident, even though it seemed obvious that the actions of Mr. Tweed set in motion this serious accident. This matter went to trial for eight days. During that time ICBC strenuously argued that Mr. Van Sprang was at fault for the accident as he must have been driving too fast for the road conditions, and that it had nothing to do with the Defendant failing to yield.
The trial judge rejected this theory, and instead found that Mr. Tweed was indeed at fault for the accident. The trial judge awarded close to $270,000.00 to Mr. Van Sprang. This award reasonably assessed his damages for pain and suffering and loss of earning capacity. It also vastly exceeded any attempts by ICBC to resolve the matter. The trial was conducted by James Cotter and Allyson Edwards.