Last week a British Columbia jury awarded former UFC fighter Jason Day approximately $340,000 following what turned out to be a career ending motor vehicle collision.
Day was struck on his bicycle by an SUV and sustained chronic soft tissue injuries to his knees and ankles. While the injuries did not prevent him from pursuing many endeavors they proved too much for the high physical toll of MMA and he never fought again. John Cameron, Day’s lawyer, confirmed that the jury awarded $50,000 for ‘diminished earning capacity’ which reflected the financial realities of the lost career to Day.
The jury was far more robust in their non-pecuniary assessment (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) and assessed damages for this loss at $325,000, a figure near the high end of what can be awarded in Canada, likely in an acknowledgement of the great loss of a sport Day dedicated many years of his life to. The global award was then reduced 10% to account for a finding of contributory negligence on the part of Day.
It is unclear if ICBC (the insurer for the at fault motorist) is going to appeal. The non-pecuniary award is vulnerable to appeal as it is close to Canada’s ‘rough upper limit’ which is reserved typically for catastrophic injuries and currently is at about $360K.
Hopefully there is no appeal and the insurer respects the jury’s assessment for the non-pecuniary loss of an MMA career.
Update September 10, 2014 – Yesterday Jason Day confirmed via twitter that there is indeed an appeal being launched by the Defence insurer in this matter. I will update this article if/when the appeal concludes.