S’s tractor‑truck was struck by a vehicle driven by M. This accident was the second in a series of five motor vehicle collisions involving S. S had suffered chronic pain since the first accident, which was later aggravated by the third accident. S sued M and the other defendants in negligence, seeking damages for non‑pecuniary loss and past income loss arising from the second accident. The trial judge found that the second accident caused S psychological injuries, including personality change and cognitive difficulties. This finding did not rest on an identified medical cause or expert evidence, but was based on the testimony of S’s friends and family to the effect that S’s personality had changed for the worse... after the accident. The trial judge further found that the mental injury originally caused by the second accident was indivisible from any injury caused by the third accident and awarded S $100,000 for non‑pecuniary damages. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal on the ground that S had not demonstrated by expert evidence a medically recognized psychiatric or psychological injury. It also observed that the trial judge had erred by deciding the case on a basis neither pleaded nor argued by S.
While some of the positives of the decision may include providing a clear deadline by which cases need to be prosecuted, it also has the effect of giving the Crown no incentive to accelerate cases that would be completed well below the Jordan guidelines. The stark deadline also forces the Crown to insist on s 11(b) defence waivers and to viciously protect the record, even during routine adjournment stages. To make matters worse, the overarching timelines set by Jordan appear to be arbitrarily chosen.