For the first time, a court in Canada has awarded separate damages for surrogacy fees for future potential pregnancies.
Mikaela Wilhelmson was involved in a head-on collision that killed three other people and left her with significant permanent disabilities, including never being able to carry a child. Rather than lump this in with the other usual non-pecuniary categories of pain, suffering and loss of amenities, the court awarded an additional amount, for the costs associated with retaining a surrogate in the future. The court accepted cost estimates of retaining a surrogate in the United States of between $50,000 and $100,000. The court took the low end of the range, $50,000, but awarded $100,000 for surrogacy fees for two future pregnancies. See Wilhelmson v. Dumma 2017 BCSC 616.
The decision in Barry v. Halifax (Regional Municipality), 2017 NSSC 180 (NSSC) demonstrates the pitfalls that can be faced by a claimant injured in a motor vehicle collision who fails to commence an unidentified or uninsured motorist claim against an insurer as soon as possible.