Samples of Judgments

Samples of judgments involving cases
in which our opinions have been upheld

Mr. Nordin was qualified to give expert opinion evidence as a vocational rehabilitation consultant. He reviewed relevant medical, counselling and treatment records, expert reports, tax returns and educational transcripts. He interviewed and tested Ms. Dubitz on October 16, 2018. He prepared a report dated December 4, 2018.

In Mr. Nordin’s opinion, the accident has negatively impacted Ms. Dubitz’s competitive employability. Specifically, Mr. Nordin questions whether Ms. Dubitz will be able to again achieve full-time employment in an administrative capacity. If Ms. Dubitz works in an administrative environment in the future, the available information suggests to Mr. Nordin that she may be limited to part-time employment. She could also pursue entry level options such as her past work with the Village but Mr. Nordin notes that such positions mostly pay less than administrative positions. In Mr. Nordin’s vocational opinion, “Ms. Dubitz’s competitive employability may remain compromised on a long-term basis.”

Mr. Nordin explained in his testimony that “competitive employability” means that a person can do her job like others without special accommodations such as special equipment, frequent breaks or more time to complete tasks. Mr. Nordin noted that Ms. Dubitz’s competitive employability has been negatively affected by her physical limitations, cognitive difficulties and anxiety.

Mr. Justice Marchand, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

v. Knoebel
October 4, 2019
Future Loss of Earning Capacity – $700,000

The plaintiff relies on the expert report and testimony of Derek Nordin, whom I qualified as an expert to give opinion evidence in the field of vocational rehabilitation. His expert report is dated June 14, 2016. He based his estimation of her pre-accident earning potential on three categories of drivers, only two of which are possibly relevant: transport truck and heavy duty equipment operators. He was a credible and reliable witness.

In Mr. Nordin’s opinion, Ms. Wilhelmson is not competitively employable. He acknowledged that a functional capacity evaluation identified she was capable of light work but that “does not really fully address her competitiveness for employment”. In his opinion that conclusion was a “gross exaggeration” because it focussed on discrete physical skills (such as lifting an object), but does not address in an overall fashion her physical condition, nor her psychological status. Further, the categories of “less than light (sedentary)” to “light work” (as identified by National Household Survey Estimates of Employment, the NHS) represent less than 50% of occupations in today’s economy.

In my view, Mr. Nordin’s opinions are based on facts and assumption that most closely match the evidence I have heard about Ms. Wilhelmson’s capabilities and I therefore place a lot of weight on his evidence.

Madam Justice Sharma, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

v. Dumma
April 13, 2017
Damages for Loss of Capacity to Earn Income and Loss of Interdependcy – $2,450,000.00

Dr. Bishop’s opinion, Mr. Nordin’s opinion and Ms. Iceton’s are similar. Ms. Iceton testified that “this is the tip of the iceberg”, this is what he does in a “structure setting, not in the more difficult dynamic outside world”. Mr. Nordin stated that the pressure of the work world are significantly higher than an academic environment, and that Stirling’s academic accomplishments are not necessarily a good prognostic indicator of his ability to meet the ongoing demands of a competitively employed engineer, or other related high cognitive demand employment.

Madam Justice Loo, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Grassick (Guardian ad litem of)
v. Swansburg
December 14, 2015
Total – $3,296,910.94

From the reports and the testimony, it is readily apparent that the plaintiff’s future earning capacity has been greatly reduced.  Prior to the accident, the plaintiff was a strong man who enjoyed hard physical work and the associated camaraderie.  The experts make clear that the plaintiff’s other occupational opportunities are very limited.  He will not be able to sustain heavy physical work on a regular basis.  He has very poor English language skills.  Mr. Nordin scored the plaintiff’s English level abilities at Grade 3 and Grade 1 for reading and spelling respectively.  His mathematical abilities were also low (approximately Grade 4).
Independent of his language limitations, the plaintiff’s problem solving abilities were also determined by Mr. Nordin to be low.

Mr. Justice Funt, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

John Jairo Vivas Bellaisac
v. Jason Tyrell Mara
July 17, 2015

It is particularly difficult to assess future loss of income in a case like this. Mr. Gravelle is a young man. His interests could change. While cooking is seen by Mr. Nordin as unlikely because of the prolonged standing required, there may be work options where breaks could be taken. Given Mr. Gravelle’s interest in cooking, one cannot rule out that type of work. It may well be, from Mr. Gravelle’s point of view, worth the trouble. Nonetheless, it is clear that higher paid labouring jobs are not likely available to the plaintiff. He has sustained a loss. Balancing all of the factors, it is reasonable to assess damages based on a future loss of income to age 70. Mr. Gravelle is certainly able to work in a number of occupations. Other occupations which are likely more lucrative are foreclosed to him. My assessment of an appropriate award is $290,000.

Mr. Justice Kelleher, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Dylan Gravelle, an infant, by his Litigation Guardian, Sandi Gravelle
v. Michael Seargant, John Beldham and Amanda Green
March 28, 2013
Total – $403,898.92

Mr. Andrusko suggests that based on the four factors noted by Finch J. (as he then was) in Brown, he has established a real and substantial possibility of a loss of future earning capacity.  I agree.  Mr. Andrusko has established a real and substantial possibility of a future event leading to an income loss based on his evidence and the evidence of Mr. Stanway and Mr. Higgins, and based on the reports of Dr. Filbey and Mr. Nordin, all of which I accept.

Madam Justice Fitzpatrick, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Christopher Andrusko
v. Alison Ellen Alexander and Lee Renforth Hickman
June 4, 2013
Total – $341,721.43

Dr. Anton, Mr. Nordin, Dr. Anderson and other experts who testified also expressed concern whether the plaintiff would be able to hold onto jobs…Furthermore, vocational counsellor Mr. Nordin cited his experience working with hundreds of brain-injured clients.  He said that many are able to perform relatively well at school or even in a university setting, but not in a competitive work situation…Mr. Nordin commented on the statistically lower rates of employment that people with disabilities experience, his experience of employer’s reluctance to hire people with brain injuries, and his experience that people with brain injuries have difficulty maintaining employment.

Mr. Justice N. Brown, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Adrianna Cikojevic
v. Ryan Timm
June 8, 2010
Total – $1,486,287.16

The only vocational expert to testify at trial was Mr. Derek Nordin of the Vocational Consulting Group, on behalf of the plaintiff.  Mr. Nordin clearly explained why there will be no jobs available to an individual such as Eric. Mr. Nordin states that to the extent such areas are problematic for Eric, they would further negatively impact his opportunities for employment.  Based on Mr. Nordin’s analysis, Eric will not be competitively employable…The “sad reality” as envisaged by Dr. Hahn, Dr. Kaushansky and Ms. Duke is clearly borne out in the analysis of Mr. Nordin.

Mr. Justice Groves, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Eric Victor Cojocaru (Guardian Ad Litem) and Monica Cojocaru
v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital
April 9, 2009
Total – $4,045,000

I accept the opinion of Mr. Nordin that based on his testing, Mr. Tchao is capable of attending college and upgrading his education in a manner that will increase his employability, notwithstanding his poor performance at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
… I accept the opinion of Mr. Nordin that with completion of appropriate school programs, Mr. Tchao would be in a position either to explore starting his own business, or to work in occupations such as a general office clerk ($41,750 per annum), a bookkeeper ($47,450 per annum), payroll clerk ($49,900 per annum) or banking or insurance clerk ($47,900 per annum), though his condition will likely render him less easily employable in such jobs.  I consider that his opportunities would have been greater but for the accident.

Mr. Justice Grauer, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Jonathan Tchao and Cassandra Nieman
v. Russ Matthew Bourdon
January 19-23 and 26, 2009
Total – $276,504.46

Derek Nordin conducted a vocational assessment and concluded that Mr. Erickson was not a candidate for retraining.
…I accept Mr. Nordin’s opinion that, in the long term, Mr. Erickson may not return to the competitive work force at all.

Madame Justice B.J. Brown, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Nels Alex Erickson
v. Robert Bowie
October 1, 2007
Total – $478,306.70

I accept that the plaintiff’s future earning capacity is severely limited by her chronic pain and that management of this pain involves dependence upon medication.  This in turn restricts her ability to both retrain and discharge employment duties.  As indicated earlier in this judgement, while that depressing conclusion might change if some magic multidisciplinary approach can be found, none presently exists and no one has offered any evidence that it may evolve.  In the result, the plaintiff’s future earning capacity is limited as described by Mr. Nordin.

Mr. Justice R.A. McKinnon, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Lorraine Zylstra
v. Laura Hughes
June 7-11 and 14-16, 1999
Total – $772,143.00

I accept Mr. Nordin’s opinion that he (Mr. Reilly) may be able to do part-time work not of a legal character if he can find a sympathetic employer to give it to him.  Such work generally pays little and usually is not permanent…For loss of earning capacity, I award damages of $2,600,000.00.

Mr. Justice G.R.B. Coultas

Robert Duffy Reilly
v. Michael W. Lynn
February 1-26 and March 8-11, 1999
Total – $2,600,000.00

I find that the summary of Mr. Nordin’s opinion is one that I accept without reservation.  She will need a job that will be sedentary, that is to say, light work together with an understanding employer.
…I am making an award for pain, suffering, loss of amenities of life in the sum of $160,000.

Mr. Justice Lander, The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Danna Leanne Wright and Marilyn Kathleen Wallsmith
v. Richard Michael Mason
January 7-9, 1991
Total – $160,000.00