Justice Firestone set out a number of principles with respect to threshold motions, including:
- the trial judge is not bound by the jury's verdict, but is a factor he or she can consider in determining the threshold motion;
- "permanent" does not necessarily mean forever until death; a permanent impairment is a weakened condition lasting into the indefinite future without end or limit;
- "serious" relates to the seriousness of the impairment to the person and not to the injury itself;
- the degree of the impairment must go beyond tolerable to be serious;
- it is the effect of the injury and not the type of injury that is the focus of the threshold inquiry.
Justice Firestone granted the defendant's motion, stating "I accept that the legislature intended that injured persons in motor vehicle collisions may experience some negative or detrimental impact on their lives without the ability to recover non-pecuniary damages". The evidence did not support that the injuries and impairments had a significant effect on the plaintiff's enjoyment of life, or that they substantially interfered with his capacity for work or pleasurable activities. The impairments were not serious.