An Osoyoos couple’s trip through the legal system has ended with almost $800,000 awarded to the wife for a 2018 rear-ender.
After a trial in Kelowna’s courts on April 12–14 and 19–22, 2022, Justice Gordon Weatherill issued his judgement in favour of Catherine Lena Sandhu, 37, on May 11 over her husband Charanpal Singh Sandhu, 50.
Catherine met Charanpal in 2004 and moved to Osoyoos in 2006, becoming legally married in 2009. The couple are still married according the published judgement.
The couple are the joint partners of Puneet Orchards in Osoyoos, which covers approximately 55 acres owned and leased around Osoyoos, where they did what work was necessary when employees couldn’t be found, including operating the farm’s associated fruit stand.
They have three children together aged 16, 15, and 12, and according to the judgement, the motor vehicle accident occurred when Catherine was taking the children to school.
When she stopped in the school zone to avoid hitting the car in front of her (which had apparently stopped for a cat on the road), her husband — who was not focused on the road and was instead trying to retrieve a tape measure that had fallen onto the floor of his vehicle — did not stop and collided with the rear of Catherine’s vehicle.
As a result of the crash, Catherine was left with chronic pain, tinnitus, migraines, fatigue, and both joint and soft-tissue injuries.
“[Catherine] did not attempt to embellish her symptoms,” read’s Justice Weatherill’s judgement. “If anything, she tended to understate them, as she did during her FCEs and her report to Ms. Wright of her pain levels the day after her first FCE. She was in obvious discomfort in the witness box as she testified, but did not complain. Her cross-examination did nothing to impugn her credibility—rather, it served only to enhance it.”
Justice Weatherill awarded Catherine $175,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $80,000 in past loss of income-earning capacity, $375,149 in future loss of income-earning capacity, $160,000 for cost of future care and $2,722 in special damages.
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