Parents of a Kelowna, British Columbia, nurse, who was killed in 2014 by a drunk driver, received $90,000 this week, after successfully claiming they suffered financial as well as personal losses in the aftermath of the fatal crash in Vernon.
Erin, the 33-year-old daughter of Brian and Michelle Smith, was killed on October 23, 2014, while she was driving with her boyfriend for coffee when a drunk driver cut her car at high speed.
Laurie Victoria Vance has been sentenced to three years in prison for a driving disability that causes death and a driving disability that causes bodily harm, and is now in trouble for a $90,000 payment to the Village Green Pub and On the Roxx Show Lounge.
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The responsibility of the latter parties in the fatal accident was not determined in Judge Alan Peyton’s decision
The basis of the case made by the Smiths was that Erin was going to buy their house, allowing them to live there for up to 25 years. And when she was killed, they suffered losses associated with this unfulfilled offer.
The Smith family had been living in the home at Siwash Court since 1999, and Erin was with them until she moved in 2013 to live independently.
In the years immediately before her death, she had been helping retirees financially. Make way for a home buying plan.
The suggestion was that Erin buy the family home for $750,000. Peyton wrote in the decision that she would secure mortgage financing for $300,000 in cash and provide a promissory note to plaintiffs with a balance of $450,000.
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The Smiths are entitled to rent the condo from Erin as long as they want at a fixed rental cost of $1,500 per month, and Erin will pay plaintiffs $1,500 per month for the promissory note – zero net disbursement.
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These amounts were arrived at using a hypothetical 25-year lease period when the total exchanges equal $450,000.
Whether this scheme was possible or probable was much debated throughout the decision, with Peyton eventually coming to the conclusion that Irene was likely to help her parents financially, and that her death came with a financial loss he could not accurately calculate.
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However, he came up with a figure of $90,000 based on the available information.
“It is important at the outset to acknowledge that this claim, as with all allegations of this kind, stems from tragedy. With regard to these claimants, much can be said about the impact that tragedy has had on them from a personal and emotional perspective,” Peyton wrote.
The close and loving relationship between the plaintiffs and their daughter Irene is not in dispute. But that is not the purpose of this litigation or this decision. This claim relates to the financial loss suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of that personal tragedy.”
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