$130,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Complex Pelvic and Knee Fractures
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for a complex pelvic and knee fracture.
In this week’s case (Farand v. Seidel) the Plaintiff was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle while she was crossing a street in a marked pedestrian crosswalk. ¬†Although the Defendant disputed liability he was found fully liable for the collision.
The Plaintiff suffered a tibial plateau fracture along with complicated pelvic injuries. ¬†The Plaintiff was left with long term complications which affected her ability to work full time hours on a consistent basis. ¬†In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $130,000 Mr. Justice Savage provided the following reasons:
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms. Farand was struck by Mr. Seidel‚Äôs pickup truck and landed on the road surface in front of Mr. Seidel‚Äôs truck. She was not run over by the truck. Ms. Kriez was able to estimate where Ms. Farand lay on the pavement. She noted that Ms.¬†Farand‚Äôs position on the pavement showed an unnatural posture. Passersby called 9-11.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms. Farand was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Imaging at the hospital showed a tibial plateau fracture and a lateral compression pelvis fracture, inferior and superior rami fractures, and an undisplaced sacral fracture. Open reduction and internal fixation of the right tibial plateau fracture was done on August 9, 2009. Imaging shows a metal plate fixed with six metal screws. The pelvis fractures were treated conservatively.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms. Farand was hospitalized for 12 days. She was released from hospital, moving with the aid of a wheel chair. She was also provided with crutches. By¬†December 2009 she used crutches without the wheel chair. She was anxious to return to work and worked a few partial days in November and December 2009, although she was able to do this work from home. She was put on a gradual return to work program. Her timesheets indicate the hours she worked.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms. Farand suffered and continues to suffer from ongoing neck and back pain. She was diagnosed by Dr. Esmail with musculoligamentous injuries to her cervical spine, with likely injuries to the zygaphophyseal joints as well as injuries to the facets of the mid-thoracic spine. Dr. Esmail diagnosed her with soft tissue injuries of the lumbar spine and injury to the sacroiliac joints of the lumbar spine. These injuries result in chronic pain, which interferes with activities of daily living and is aggravated by her favouring her right leg.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms. Farand has undergone various treatments, including physiotherapy and massage. She has not regained quadriceps bulk, particularly in the right leg. Dr.¬†Esmail opines that she is at greater risk for developing osteoarthritis in the right knee and will likely need knee replacement surgery in 15-20 years. He is uncertain whether she has meniscal tear or detached meniscus, which cannot be identified by doing an MRI but could be diagnosed with arthroscopic surgery. If she has these problems with her meniscus, then those time frames may be accelerated…
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†In my opinion the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages in this case is $130,000, which award I so make.