Case Brief Wiki


Andrews, a 21 year old man, was injured in a car accident with an employee of Grand & Toy and is rendered a quadriplegic after the accident. At trial, Grand & Toy were found entirely liable and damages of $1,022,477.48 were awarded. On appeal, the defendant was found 75% liable and Andrews 25% liable and damages were further reduced to $516,544.48, which was appealed to the Supreme Court.


Does Andrews require home-care or could he settle for (cheaper) hospital care?

  1. Does the court have to take into account what the injured party might do with the awarded money?
  2. Can there be a limit on non-pecuniary damages?


Appeal allowed in part; award changed to 75% of $817,344 ($613,008).


The court finds that Andrews reasonably should be awarded home-care in the circumstances, as he would have cared for himself at home had there been no accident. They say that what he chooses to do with his money should not be taken into consideration when assessing damages – the courts have no control over the plaintiff's expenditure of the award (nor would Andrews have been limited in expenditure of his earnings had he been able to work). Dickson sets $100,000 as the upper limit for non-pecuniary loss in cases such as this, stating that a cap needs to be implemented as they were constantly rising, specifically commenting on the situation in the United States.


  • Full compensation is the paramount concern of the courts in cases of severely injured victims.
  • Damage awards should serve a useful function; neither high compensation for pain and suffering nor punitive awards help the plaintiff, but they do unfairly burden the de­fendant.