By: Rob Harris
Elizabeth Roscoe has accomplished much. She was the first woman appointed to the Province’s Family Court, the second woman to be appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Trial Division, and the first woman appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Appeal Division which later became the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. In 2005 she received the Frances Fish Women Lawyers’ Achievement Award.
Tonight, Golf Dispute Resolution recognizes Justice Roscoe with its inaugural Nothing Gets In The Way Of This Judge’s Golf Award.
In March 2008, Justice Roscoe, a multi-sport athlete, was playing badminton in the Halifax Citadel High School gym, when she stepped on a strip of abandoned duct tape, injuring her knee. Surgery for a torn meniscus was required. A lawsuit followed.
Justice Roscoe introduced substantial evidence that the injury had adversely impacted her golf game, making it difficult to walk the entire course.
The court’s decision contained the following findings:
“During the 2008 golf season…she did play golf, from a cart, 46 times. However, she did not play well and did not play as often as she wanted. She missed tournaments because her golf game had become so bad. She was not able to swing the golf clubs properly because it hurt her to do so. … She had to wear a knee brace when she played golf….
“[According to one witness], while on the course, Ms. Roscoe was limping, and, in pain. Further, she was grumpier than she had been before.
“Ms. Roscoe had a preplanned trip to Scotland… Some of the courses did not permit golf carts. Therefore, she had to walk them. She found it difficult. Her group would allow her to putt out first. Then she would go to the next tee-off and sit on the bench waiting for them.”
The court also found that, over time, Justice Roscoe’s condition improved. According to the court, “she plans to return to competitive golf this summer. Her pre-incident handicap was 16. Her handicap is now 17. She … now walks the golf courses, without her brace.”
Recognizing the adversity she faced, the court awarded Justice Roscoe, in addition to her general damages, a sum to compensate her for the cost of renting a golf cart when she was unable to walk.
We congratulate Justice Roscoe on her victory, and applaud her determination and commitment to walking, not riding.
Those interested can read the judicial opinion here.