BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

$130,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Bimalleolar Ankle Fracture With Chronic Limitations

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a serious ankle injury leading to permanent partial disability.

In this week’s case (Hubbs v. Escueta) the Plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle accident when he was struck by the Defendant.  Although liability was contested the Court found the Defendant’s evidence was “not credible” and he was found fully at fault for the collision.

The Plaintiff suffered a complex bimalleolar ankle fracture which was treated surgically.

(Image via Wikimedia)

The hardware was eventually removed but the Plaintiff’s symptoms continued.  He was expected to have permanent restrictions with his ankle and was exposed to risk of early degenerative changes leading to further deterioration   The Plaintiff worked as an electrician and his ability to do so was significantly compromised by this injury.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $130,000 Madam Justice Ross provided the following reasons:

[135]     This case highlights the importance of the individual circumstances. The injury suffered by Mr. Hubbs is serious. While the consequences for someone of more sedentary occupation and lifestyle might not have been so significant, for Mr. Hubbs the injury has proven to be life changing. He is a relatively young man who now faces a lifetime of limitation and disability. Mr. Hubbs’ livelihood requires strength, agility and balance, all of which have been impaired by the injury. The injury has impaired his ability to earn his living. He has worked through the pain, but at a terrible cost to his family life. He is no longer able to enjoy the active lifestyle he loved. His mood is depressed and he has little energy for anything except the struggle to put in a day at work. His relations with his wife and children have been damaged. It appears that he has reached a plateau in his recovery and faces a future of increased deterioration and vulnerability to injury.

[136]     In my view, the cases cited by plaintiff’s counsel are more representative of the circumstances in the present case. I award $130,000 for non-pecuniary loss.

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