CASE LAW - Small v Kanhai

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Small v Kanhai takes place in the Town Center mall parking lot in Coquitlam. A group of teens had gathered there and were watching Kesean Kanhai perform powerslides with a Mini Cooper. One of that group, Matthew Small, decided to leave and attend another gathering.

While in the process of departing, Mr. Small drove his Honda Civic along a parking lane and began to make a left turn. He was met by Mr. Kanhai who was attempting to drive straight through on his way to perform another powerslide. A collision occurred and parents were called. Photos of the scene were taken.

Both vehicles involved were ultimately written off. The Honda sustaining about $6,000 of damage and the Mini about $8,000.

Mr. Justice Veenstra listened to the evidence which included that of both the youths, their friends and collision reconstruction experts. Both drivers asserted that the other was totally at fault.

Of interest in this case is the way that the Motor Vehicle Act applies to drivers who are using parking lots.

The Justice decided:

Ultimately, I conclude that there are four key ways in which the standard of care was not met in this case:

a) Mr. Kanhai’s excessive speed;

b) Mr. Kanhai’s failure to keep a proper lookout or to drive with due care and attention;

c) Mr. Kanhai’s failure to use his turn signal to indicate his intended right turn; and

d) Mr. Small’s failure to stay in his notional lane.

He apportioned blame 75% to Mr. Kanhai and 25% to Mr. Small.

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