I have long been amazed at what trivialities courts consider worthy of hefty damages, although amazed is perhaps too nice a word.
In a 9-0 ruling issued Thursday, the Supreme Court decided that his reaction was exaggerated and that a "person of normal fortitude, a more reasonable person, would have had a more reasonable reaction," the CBC's Rosemary Barton reported from Ottawa.
"[The court ruled] it would have been impossible for Culligan Canada, the supplier of the water bottle, to foresee this sort of extreme reaction that Waddah Mustapha had," Barton said.
The court decided the psychological damages suffered by Mustapha were "too remote" to justify more than $300,000 in compensation Mustapha was seeking, and ordered him to pay the company's court costs.
In this precedent-setting ruling, the Supreme Court has effectively and unanimously declared that psychological damage has to be foreseeable before someone can be held accountable for inflicting it.
A few more rulings like this and perhaps our legal system will actually speed up as the backlog of trivial cases is cleared out and genuinely important cases have a little breathing room.
Technorati tags: Supreme Court, Psychological damage