The case of Leendertse v. His Majesty the King in Right of Ontario, 2022 ONSC 6395, involves an accident where the plaintiff was riding a bicycle and was struck by a police SUV.
The plaintiff sued the police force for personal injury damages. He also claimed Charter damages for alleged unlawful detention by the investigating police officers. Brian and Erin defended the police force.
Justice Gorman held that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold in the Insurance Act for recovery of non-pecuniary damages and healthcare expenses. Her Honour went on to assess the quantum of damages in the event she was wrong on the threshold issue, and such damages were very limited.
Regarding the Charter claim, Justice Gorman determined that the plaintiff’s rights were not breached. Her Honour stated that the plaintiff was not detained at the scene and that the police officers followed applicable procedures. Therefore, no Charter damages were awarded, and a claim for punitive damages was also denied.
In terms of liability, the defendant conceded that it was partially at fault for the accident. Justice Gorman found 40% contributory negligence on the plaintiff. The plaintiff did not have proper reflectors on his bicycle and was wearing dark clothing.
Justice Gorman held that the defendant is entitled to costs.