Anand v. Belanger (2010), ONSC 2435

Anand is a recent case which addressed the admissibility of statistical evidence to determine a projected retirement age.  The statistical evidence was tendered as two expert reports.  Anand remains a good indicator of whether statistical evidence can be excluded.

In Anand, the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of an MVA.  In the ensuing action, the plaintiff was seeking damages for future income loss.  She submitted evidence to the effect that she was going to work at least until the age of 65.  The defence tendered two expert reports.  One of the reports was conducted by Mr. Pesando. It employed statistics to examine the retirement pattern of Canadian females and the relationship between disability and age (Pesando evidence).  The Pesando evidence did not specifically address the plaintiff and offered no opinion on her retirement prospects.

The plaintiff took the position that she was the best instrument with which to judge the date of her projected retirement and the statistics were not sufficiently relevant to be admitted.

The trial judge found that the statistics should not be given much weight and that the jury should be instructed accordingly.  However, he also found that the probative value of statistical evidence outweighed its prejudicial effect.  Both reports had been accepted as evidence.

 

Alexander Rozine is an Associate at D’Angela Fox Vanounou LLP, a plaintiff-side personal injury firm in Toronto.