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BC Supreme Court Awards Damages for Cost of Medical Marijuana Program

With medical marijuana gaining more acceptance as a prescribed treatment for a variety of health conditions, costs associated with such treatments are receiving judicial consideration in personal injury litigation.

In what is at least the second decision in BC to do so (click here for the first) reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for the cost of medical marijuana.

In today’s case (Amini v. Mondragaon) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2011 collision that the Defendant accepted responsibility for.  The Plaintiff suffered various lingering injuries and a medical marijuana program was recommended to address some of the Plaintiff’s symptoms.  Mr. Justice Greyell assessed damages of $6,500 to account for the cost of this recommendation and in doing so provided the following reasons:

[133]     Dr. Hershler strongly recommended Ms. Amini be put on the Medical Marijuana Program to assist in controlling her pain so as to allow her to work on strengthening exercises for her neck and back. He was of the view this would allow her a “good chance for effective pain management”. I accept his recommendation as a reasonable one.

[134]     Dr. Hershler recommended she be prescribed ten grams of cannabis per day to be used as an ointment. He recommended this be followed with 20 sessions with a physiotherapist to build core strength and range of motion.

[135]     Dr. Hershler estimated the cost of a six month program using a dosage of 10 grams per day to be approximately $9,000. In cross-examination counsel suggested the ointment could be made at considerably less cost if the plaintiff, as a Nurse, made her own. Dr. Hershler did not disagree.

[136]     I award the plaintiff $6,500 for a Medical Marijuana Program and $1,500 for the cost of 20 physiotherapy sessions (at $75 each) to follow the medical marijuana treatments.

 

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