Lawyer Gets $6 Million After Colleague Falls On Her On Dance Floor

A Vancouver lawyer has secured a remarkably large award of $6 million for injuries sustained when a colleague at the law firm of Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP fell back on her while dancing. What is striking is that Michelle Marie Danicek, 32 was able to get full payment for her future earnings as a lawyer in the case.

Danicek had been drinking at a bar with her colleagues when around 12:30 am colleague Jeremy Martin Poole when Mr. Poole stumbled and fell backward onto her. She hit her head and later complained about headaches and “cognitive deficit.” Then, it got more complex when she was rear-ended while driving. She argued that the accident exacerbated the injuries from the nightclub incident and resulted in chronic and debilitating headaches.

She was given a medical leave but later terminated by the law firm.

The B.C. Supreme Court awarded over $5-million in loss of earnings capacity and $1-million in other damages for physical injuries.

Once you are allowed to include the lost wages, the figure becomes quite high for a young lawyer since most lawyers today practice into their 60s and 70s.

Danicek no longer practices law and is described by her lawyer as leading ” a very sedate, quiet lifestyle”

Source: National Post

13 thoughts on “Lawyer Gets $6 Million After Colleague Falls On Her On Dance Floor

  1. I wouldn’t dismiss the value of a cognitive deficit for an attorney. Assuming even a mild traumatic brain injury and if she is a typical victim, she likely suffers from chronic fatigue, sleep issues or insomnia, ennui, persistent headaches, irritability, feelings of isolation, and possibly photo and audio sensitivity plus a host of other problems that make her “quiet lifestyle” anything but peaceful. She probably takes a concoction of chemicals to mitigate her situation and will be on them for life. She will require constant linguistic and dexterity therapy. Her brain has prematurely aged and her susceptibility to dementia and Alzheimers is substantially higher than our own. Her family probably rightly worries about suicidal ideations and daily feelings of hopelessness.

    Had she made no financial recovery, most of us would have had nothing but sympathy for her situation; that she recovered money makes us suspicious. What does her recovery of money change about her condition? What does our differing reactions say about us? Would any of us change places?

    These are the things I ask the jury in these cases.

  2. I’m suffering from cognitive deficit because of my suffering from the headache I have from reading this bs. Who do I go after? The blog, the internet provider, the news feeds? Or is this caused by global warming too?

  3. Geeba Geeba:

    “I’m suffering from cognitive deficit because of my suffering from the headache I have from reading this bs. Who do I go after? The blog, the internet provider, the news feeds? Or is this caused by global warming too?”


    Your compassion is truly astounding. Maybe it’s ignorance or avoidance or just plain meanness. Regardless of the cause and even in your foolishness, I would not wish the suffering I see in many of my clients on even the likes of you.

  4. So, let’s say that the initial injury really was the cause of real harm. But it happened accidentally at a bar – how on earth is that the law firm’s fault? Blame Mr. Poole for bumping into you, blame the bar for not padding everything with foam rubber, blame your shoe manufacturer, blame the government for not requiring you to wear a helmet at all times.

    The prof. says that the damages weren’t awarded for improperly terminating her, rather they were for the impacts of the supposed injury – so, again, it seems nuts to blame the firm for her injury.

    How’s this for a fun scenario: “My colleague at the firm was across the street. He called my name and waved hello, which caused me to turn my head, and in doing so, I lost my balance. I fell down and hit my head on the sidewalk. Clearly the firm we both work for owes me money.” Seriously? I knew we went along with stupid crap like this in the Sates, but I’m surprised that generally sensible Canadians do this too.

    Write me a check for CAD$6 million, and I’ll be leading a “sedate lifestyle” in a quaint house in St. Remy de Provence in the south of France, soothing my “cognitive deficits” with Chateau Neuf de Pape.

  5. if you get an award for loss of earnings capacity can you still work in that field? also if you make more money in a new field can the person sued attempt to recoupe all or part of the award?

  6. What mespo727272 wrote on how serious these injuries might be is correct but there are other factors that would explain the liability part of the case.

    For example, on the comment by TomDarch: Canada has a legal system that is sort of similar to the U.S. in a number of ways, including that for private or civil claims, each jurisdiction is in charge of making up its own rules. This lady was in Vancouver, which is also where the accident happened. Vancouver is in the province of British Columbia. B.C. happens to have a no fault accident compensation system. As I understand, the provincial government there set up a government-regulated agency to deal with the claims from all motor vehicle accidents for example, which deals with one of the three largest chunks of accidents. B.C. law is more favorable to unions than anywhere in the U.S., and also some other parts of Canada, so not surprisingly it has a more progressive work-related injuries compensation system than anywhere in the U.S. So that covers another big chunk (and may have had some part in this claim). The third big chunk is injuries related to incidents in public drinking establishments. Bars and such are required to have host insurance coverage just like for car insurance. The no-fault principle applies in some form or another to all of these.

    Also, I kind of doubt the credibility of the source that Professor Turley linked to on this stories. The National Post is pretty much the Weekly Standard or the Townhall of Canada. For example, it is a huge cheerleader for Conrad Black and its agenda is full neocon. It heavily slants both the choice of items it publishes and its coverage of those items. A big part of that so-called $5 million (Canadian dollars; which these days are pretty much the same as U.S. dollars) described as for lost future earnings may actually be made up of other losses covered under what are called General Damages, like losing the ability to ski and otherwise partake in the enjoyable parts of life, even sex. Or loss of marriage prospects and raising children, even just in reduced odds. The idea appears to be that the accident took much away from her life except the time it will take for her to get through it, and that explains the size of the compensation. And even just $150K a year for 35 years totals over $5 million.

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