Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative, Kamloops This Week
The family of a Savona resident who was viciously beaten with a baseball bat more than four years ago has been awarded nearly $7 million in damages.
BC Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley has ordered that Kristopher Teichrieb pay $6.9 million to Jessie Simpson, whom Teichrieb beat into a coma on June 19, 2016. At the time, Simpson was 18. He will turn 24 this July.
Whether Teichrieb can pay that amount — and how — remains to be seen. Teichrieb is in prison as he serves a seven-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to aggravated assault. He had originally been charged with attempted murder.
The attack outside Teichrieb’s Brocklehurst home left Simpson with a catastrophic brain injury, in a wheelchair and in need of round-the-clock care the rest of his life.
Dley granted Simpson $393,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $87,000 for past income losses, $1.3 million in future income losses, $3 million for the cost of his future care, $50,000 for Simpson’s loss of housekeeping capacity, $75,000 for an in-trust claim, $42,689 in special expenses, $432,490 in trust for a crime victim assistance program and $1.4 million in trust for the Ministry of Health.
The in trust claim and special damages were awarded to Jessie’s mother, Sue, compensating her for her forgone wage while caring for Jessie — $75,000 — and her out-of-pocket expenses — $42,695 — incurred on her son’s behalf.
Simpson’s lost income was calculated based on the annual salary for roofers — an occupation he had expressed interest in, having worked in that field with his father prior to the attack. The total was based on Simpson working to age 65 and reduced to reflect for his now reduced life expectancy of 62 years.
Dley agreed the $50,000 in housekeeping costs was fair based on an estimated allowance of $25 per hour over Jessie’s life.
The $393,000 is the upper limit for non-pecuniary damages and was in line with what Simpson’s lawyer sought for the severity of the attack, which robbed Simpson of the ability to lead a normal life.
Simpson, however, had sought $40,000 each in punitive and aggravated damages, which Dley did not award. In his written ruling, Dley concluded that the award for non-pecuniary damages takes into account the aggravating features of the case, and to award the separate amount would be a duplication of an award already tabulated. He added the goal of punitive damages is already covered by Teichrieb’s criminal conviction.
Teichrieb was convicted for the beating in 2018 and found civilly responsible for damages by the courts last fall.
A two-day trial was held in January to determine what that amount would be. Teichrieb, who remains in jail, was made aware of the proceedings, but didn’t participate.
The civil action follows Simpson, then 18, celebrating high school graduation on June 19, 2016. He became separated from friends and wound up on Teichrieb’s property, near the corner of Holt Street and Clifford Avenue in Brocklehurst, in the early morning hours.
Teichrieb attacked Simpson with his fists and a metal baseball bat. According to witnesses, the bulk of the attack took place in the middle of the street after Simpson tried to run from Teichrieb. Simpson’s injuries were significant. He suffered serious brain injuries and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
His mom, Sue Simpson, along with friends of the family, continue to organize various fundraising activities. In the weeks leading up to the attack, Teichrieb had threatened vigilante action after calling police to report a number of incidents of theft and trespassing. Police warned him not to take matters into his own hands.
Lawyers representing Simpson have accused Teichrieb of hiding assets after the attack in anticipation of a lawsuit. Teichrieb is alleged to have sold his $587,000 Clifford Avenue house to his parents for $1 six months after the assault. That is being dealt with in a separate court proceeding.
Note: A previous version of this story erroneously referred to the victim as a woman.
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