Monday, October 19, 2009

Court rules against psychological harm cases for some of the Queen of the North survivors

"We respect the judge's decision. We respect the analysis he put into it and we respect his interpretations of authority, We're at a stage where we are seriously entertaining an appeal." --James Hanson an attorney for some of the survivors of the sinking of the Queen of the North three years ago, outlining the potential next step in their litigation concerns over that sinking.
The ongoing deliberations on individucal cases stemming from the sinking of the Queen of the North, has proven to disappoint the presenters of a few of the dozens of claims by passengers who claim that they continue to suffer "psychological injury" as a result of the sinking three years ago.

Justice Brian Joyce, examined six of the outstanding claims and found that four of the plaintiffs failed to meet the standard of a "recognizable psychiatric illness>" accepting two of the cases last Wednesday, they will see their legal travels continue forward, while the four discarded claims will no doubt be filing appeals in the near future.

So far only two plaintiffs have been awarded a cash settlement in their cases, $12,000 went to a 66-year-old commercial fisherman who was found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder while $7,500 was awarded to a 42-year-old fish farm worker, who had his existing conditions of anxiety and depression aggravated by the fateful night off the coast of Hartley Bay.

BC Ferries has settled out of court with the families of the two victims of the 2006 tragedy, as well as put the finishing touches on the claims of survivors regarding lost luggage and other personal property lost when the ferry sank.

Only these psychological trauma files remain to be examined, a process which seems destined to carry forward into the foreseeable future.

Globe and Mail-- B.C. court denies ferry sinking caused psychological harm
Canadian Press-- Court gives three BC ferry sinking survivors small awards for mental stress

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