Arnold v Teno

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Arnold v Teno
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: June 16 and 17, 1977
Judgment: January 19, 1978
Full case name Wallace Arnold and Brian Arnold v. Diane Marie Teno, an Infant by her Next Friend Orville Teno, the Said Orville Teno and Yvonne Teno
J.B. Jackson Limited and Stuart Galloway v. Diane Marie Teno, an Infant by her Next Friend Orville Teno, the Said Orville Teno and Yvonne Teno and Teno in her Capacity as Defendant to a Claim for Indemnity
Yvonne Teno and Orville Teno (with Respect to the Claim of the Defendants for Contribution and Indemnity v. Wallace Arnold, Brian Arnold, J.B. Jackson Limited and Stuart Galloway and Diane Marie Teno, an Infant by her Next Friend Orville Teno and the Said Orville Teno
Citations [1978] 2 S.C.R. 287
Prior history Mixed judgment by the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Ruling Appeal allowed in part.
Various rulings made regarding damages for personal injury.
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Bora Laskin
Puisne Justices: Ronald Martland, Wilfred Judson, Roland Ritchie, Wishart Spence, Louis-Philippe Pigeon, Brian Dickson, Jean Beetz, Louis-Philippe de Grandpré
Reasons given
Majority Spence J., joined by Laskin C.J. and Judson and Dickson JJ.
Concurrence Pigeon J., joined by Martland, Ritchie, and Beetz JJ.
Concur/dissent de Grandpré J.

Arnold v Teno, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 287 is a leading tort case from the Supreme Court of Canada. This decision was part of a trilogy of personal injury cases including Andrews v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd. (1978) and Thornton v. Prince George School Board (1978).

On July 1, 1969, four-year-old Diane Teno and her six-year-old brother were crossing the street to get some ice cream from the ice cream truck parked on the other side when she was struck by a car driven by Brian Arnold. Teno was rendered severely brain damaged and sued Arnold for damages. At trial Teno was successful and was awarded damages. Arnold appealed the amount awarded.

The issue before the Court was whether the amount of award for damages was correct. The Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the original damage award.

Justice Spence, writing for the majority, observed that the purpose of the award in these circumstances is to ensure that Teno is properly cared for the rest of her life. The sum of $7,500 per year was a "equitable" amount proposed by the Court.

Spence further qualified his decision by acknowledging the fear of overly generous awards for tortious acts stating that "the very real and serious social burden of these exorbitant awards has been illustrated graphically in the United States in cases concerning medical malpractice."

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