$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Fractured Femur With Permanent Partial Restrictions
It is rare to find caselaw dealing with damages for a femur fracture alone as the forces required to break the body’s biggest bone usually also result in other complex injuries. ¬†Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, dealing with such an injury without significant¬†complication¬†from other factors.
In this week’s case (Gravelle v. Seargeant) the Plaintiff pedestrian was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle while he was walking on the shoulder of a road. ¬†The impact threw the plaintiff between and 30 feet. ¬†He suffered a fractured right femur which required¬†surgical¬†interventions. ¬†Despite a relatively good recovery he was expected to have¬†some¬†permanent level of¬†restriction¬†due to his injury. ¬†In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Mr. Justice Kelleher provided the following reasons:
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The following is the application of these factors to the plaintiff:
(a)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Age of the plaintiff:¬†
Mr.¬†Gravelle was 16 when the accident happened.¬† The evidence establishes that he will likely suffer some measure of pain for the rest of his life.
(b)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Nature of the injury:
Mr.¬†Gravelle suffered a fractured right femur that required an open reduction and insertion of an intramedullary nail and locking screws.¬† He also suffered injuries to his low back, right groin and right knee, which remain a cause of pain.
(c)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Severity and duration of pain:
He was in severe pain for a short period of time.¬† He was required to take pain medication for 4 – 6 months.¬† Four and a half years after the accident he continues to suffer pain.
The plaintiff was totally disabled for some six months, and continues to have some measure of disability.
(e)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Emotional suffering:
The plaintiff‚Äôs mother testified that the plaintiff was isolated and less confident following the first collision.¬† He did not seek counselling for this.
(f)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Loss and impairment of life:
Mr.¬†Gravelle‚Äôs life was interrupted and altered by the first collision.¬† He missed part of Grade 10.¬† His mobility was significantly restricted during the summer.¬† He has permanent injuries and has some impairment of his ability to perform physical labour and enjoy his former physical pursuits.
(g)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Impairment of family, marital and social relationships:
Mr.¬†Gravelle does not enjoy spending a lot of time with friends.¬† He was somewhat like this before the accident as well.
(h)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Impairment of physical and mental abilities:
He has a permanent impairment of his physical capabilities.¬† There is no impairment of his mental abilities.
(i)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Loss of Lifestyle:
Mr.¬†Gravelle was unable to engage in snowboarding, an important part of his life, for some time.¬† He has been able to return to it, but pain prevents him from snowboarding in the same manner as before.
Mr.¬†Gravelle is somewhat stoic in his presentation.¬† The defendant agrees that the plaintiff should not be penalized for this…
53]¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Having considered the plaintiff‚Äôs injuries and the factors listed above, in light of the case law, I assess non-pecuniary damages at $85,000.