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Dentist whose teeth were broken during assault awarded more than $50K

Keith Fraser, Postmedia Network

Scales of Justice statue at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Jason Payne/ PNG)

Scales of Justice statue at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Jason Payne/ PNG)

A Surrey dentist whose front teeth were broken during an unprovoked assault at a wedding reception has been awarded more than $50,000 in damages.

Dr. Himmat Singh Bajwa testified at his civil trial that he was attacked by Gurpaul Purgash Singh Deol and another person as he and his wife were leaving the reception at Bombay Banquet Hall on Aug. 11, 2012.

He said Deol, who has pleaded guilty to assault in the criminal courts in relation to the incident and been sentenced to one day in jail and one year of probation, charged him and punched him in the side of the face with what appeared to be brass knuckles.

Bajwa said that he was stunned by the blow and was then hit by another individual on the back of the head with a hard object, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.

His front teeth were broken and he suffered a split lip and numerous abrasions to his cheek and chin as well as scrapes and cuts to the back of his head.

After being discharged from the hospital, he received treatment from a dentist and had a follow-up with a plastic surgeon.

He missed a week of work, could not chew properly for about two or three weeks, and suffered from facial swelling, headaches and difficulty sleeping, as well as anxiety and a fear of going out in public.

Deol, who unsuccessfully sought to have a default judgment against him in the case set aside, argued that Bajwa’s injuries were not as extensive as he suggested or were not caused by his actions.

But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown found Bajwa’s testimony to be “entirely credible” and accepted his evidence, noting that an affidavit filed by Deol was inconsistent with a position he had advanced on more than one occasion.

While Bajwa’s injuries were not as extensive as those in other similar court cases, the judge said they were nonetheless very serious.

“It was an unprovoked attack. Three of Mr. Bajwa’s teeth were broken. He will require further dental repair. He suffered a loss of income. He experienced headaches and anxiety.”

The appropriate award of damages was $55,000, said the judge, adding that she was also satisfied that the plaintiff had lost $3,000 worth of income as a result of the assault and will incur dental repair of $7,000.

Bajwa sued several other defendants with those matters being settled for an undisclosed amount. The judge said that the amount paid in damages by the other defendants would be deducted from the amount to be paid by Deol.

kfraser@postmedia.com

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