A dispute between snowboarders resulted in a roughly $1,000 judgment in B.C.’s small claims tribunal this week.
Civil Resolution Tribunal member Micah Carmody ruled in favour of the applicant, Kevin William Snyder, who brought the case to the CRT seeking reimbursement for approximately $1,000 worth of gear he purchased for Tito Carmichael Quiachon last year.
Quiachon, the respondent, argued that the gear – a snowboard, bindings and pants – was a gift, and that Snyder only brought the claim in retaliation for Quiachon refusing to give him rides to the mountain.
Carmody’s decision, posted online Thursday, does not specify where in B.C. the parties did their snowboarding.
“The background facts are brief and undisputed,” the decision reads.
“The applicant and respondent are or were friends. The respondent wanted to snowboard but did not have the necessary equipment. The applicant wanted to snowboard but did not have the necessary transportation. In November 2022, the parties went shopping together for snowboards, bindings, and other equipment. The applicant paid for everything.”
Quiachon told the tribunal that Snyder was “flexing” during the shopping trip, loudly saying things like “I got you,” so that everyone in the store would know he had money and was paying for Quiachon’s purchases.
“The applicant does not deny ‘flexing’ or saying ‘I got you’ in the stores,” the decision reads. “However, I find this is insufficient to establish that the applicant objectively intended the purchases as gifts.”
The law presumes bargains, rather than gifts, according to Carmody, who concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Snyder intended his purchases as a gift to Quiachon, rather than a loan.
The tribunal member cited text messages in which Snyder offered to contribute $300 toward the purchase because Quiachon would be driving the pair to the ski hill “every weekend.”
Snyder told the tribunal he ended up contributing more than $300 because Quiachon “was waiting for a paycheque and had some significant expenses, but did not want to miss the snowboarding season.”
Carmody found that Quiachon’s submission to the tribunal that he felt pressured by Snyder to buy things he could not afford was indicative of the extra funds being a loan.
“I find this reflects the respondent’s understanding that ultimately he, not the applicant, was buying the items, and he was required to reimburse the applicant,” Carmody’s decision reads.
The total purchase, with tax, amounted to $996.77, according to the decision. Carmody decided to offset that amount by $60, to account for the four times Quiachon drove Snyder to the mountain before the pair had a falling out.
To the resulting $936.77, Carmody added $28.92 in pre-judgment interest, as well as $125 for reimbursement of Snyder’s CRT fees, for a total award of $1,090.69.