$50,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages for Left Sided SI Joint Injury
Reasons for Judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic low back injury following a motor vehicle collision.
In last week’s case (Connolly v. Cowie) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 rear-end collision. ¬†Fault was admitted by the rear motorist. ¬†The 35 year old plaintiff suffered from chronic low back pain following the collision. ¬†Ultimately¬†the injury was diagnosed as an “indiscreet¬†pain syndrome” affecting the plaintiff’s left sacroiliac region. ¬†In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $50,000 Mr. Justice Butler provided the following reasons:
 In summary, I conclude that Ms. Connolly suffered a significant low back strain as a result of the accident.¬† The accident has caused injury to the myofascial tissues in her left sacroiliac region.¬† The injury has not resolved in spite of her aggressive attempts to continue with exercise and chiropractic treatment and some physiotherapy.¬† She now has chronic pain which is not disabling, but does restrict the type and extent of activities and exercises she can perform.¬† She is still able to do most household tasks, but it is likely she will continue to experience pain with activities.¬† It is unlikely that the pain symptoms will resolve…
 Here, Ms. Connolly is unable to continue with long distance running.¬† She does not take medications like Ms. Dutchak, but has persisted with more restricted activities.¬† In the past, she thrived on the combination of exercise and camaraderie with a group of fellow competitors.¬† Her inability to continue with that is a significant loss to her.¬† She has continued to exercise and is now focusing on cycling as a replacement for her previous passion, but has had to give up her dream of working as a fitness instructor.¬† She put much thought and several years of work into attempting to develop a skill that would provide her with income and help fulfil her desire to do strenuous exercise with like-minded people.¬† She is no longer able to do that and this is a significant loss.
 In addition to these significant losses, she has to put up with continuing pain and it is likely this will not abate in the future.¬† Considering all of the circumstances, I find that $50,000 is an appropriate award for non-pecuniary loss.
To access my archived posts of other recent BC Supreme Court decisions assessing¬†damages¬†for SI Joint Injuries in ICBC Claims you can click here.