A jury in Vancouver recently awarded boxing champion Jegbefumere “Bone” Albert more than $1 million over an Insurance Corp. of British Columbia personal injury claim.
According to the BC Injury Law blog, the plaintiff in Albert v. Politano claimed that a car accident in 2008 ended his boxing career after he suffered a chronic right-hand injury. At the time, he boasted a professional record of 4-0 and an amateur record of 251-3. However, due to the chronic nature of the injury, it worsened with boxing. Despite his injury, Albert went on to win three more professional contests, but by the following year he was forced to retire at the age of 29.
Erik Magraken, a partner at B.C. personal injury law firm MacIsaac & Co. and author of the BC Injury Law blog, says although the award is substantial, it’s not necessarily rare. “That kind of an award is not unusual if you accept that a young man or woman has a career-ending injury where they have to shift gears and do something else for a living for the rest of their life,” he says.
“What we have is a young guy who had a very outstanding boxing record and he was well on his way to potential success — and success in the boxing world could be very lucrative if you reach it,” he says.
Magraken says there was enough medical evidence to prove that the injury likely ended Albert’s career.
“My understanding is that the plaintiff’s lawyer ran this with only the family doctor giving evidence and there wasn’t a whole slew of competing medical evidence,” he says. “I guess the slam against [Albert] was [that] most boxers don’t make a lot of money and so his loss isn’t particularly high, but I think the jury saw it otherwise.”
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Greyell presided over the trial. The blog states that the jury awarded $125,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $60,000 in past diminished earning capacity, and $868,000 in future diminished earning capacity for a total of approximately $1.5 million in favour of Albert.