B.C. Court of Appeal approves settlement of student's lawsuit against Vancouver school board

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      A teenager who was partially blinded in a schoolyard incident will receive $35,000 for his injury.

      Isaac Deo, 16, was injured more than eight years ago while playing with branches along with other kids at his elementary school during the lunch break.

      According to a recently released B.C. Court of Appeal ruling, "a branch hit Isaac and penetrated his eye".

      After an eight-day trial in B.C. Supreme Court, Justice Paul Riley dismissed Deo's claim of negligence based on improper supervision. The judge ruled that the school board was liable for failing to respond adequately by calling an ambulance—but the impact that this had would have to be resolved at trial.

      Each party filed appeals, which preceded the settlement that was approved by three B.C. Court of Appeal justices—Nicole Garson, Barbara Fisher, and Susan Griffin.

      Isaac's lawyer, Paul Warnett, acknowledged that there was less than a 50 percent chance of succeeding on the appeal of the liability findings.

      The ruling noted Warnett's claim that there could be greater success in connection with the trial judge's treatment of child witnesses.

      "Counsel assesses the quantum of damages for non-pecuniary loss in the range of $100,000 to $140,000 and for loss of future earnings in the range of $300,000 to $350,000," the B.C. Court of Appeal decision stated. "The estimate of an adverse costs award if the appeal is unsuccessful is in excess of $100,000."

      The danger for Isaac's family is that if the appeal failed, they would have to sell their house in East Vancouver to cover the costs, according to the ruling.

      "His father says that he has weighed the prospects of success of the appeal against the risk of losing the home and the impact that would have on Isaac and the rest of the family," the three B.C. Court of Appeal judges stated. "He says he has concluded that it is in Isaac’s best interests to accept the settlement."