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Erik MagrakenThis Blog is authored by British Columbia ICBC injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken. Erik is a partner with the British Columbia personal injury law-firm MacIsaac & Company. He restricts his practice exclusively to plaintiff-only personal injury claims with a particular emphasis on ICBC injury claims involving orthopaedic injuries and complex soft tissue injuries. Please visit often for the latest developments in matters concerning BC personal injury claims and ICBC claims

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Archive for the ‘ICBC Wrist Injury Cases’ Category

$150,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Bilateral Wrist and Femur Fracture

June 4th, 2015

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for bilateral wrist fractures leading to permanent partial dysfunction and a femur fracture.

In today’s case (Ishii v. Wong) the Plaintiff was involved  in a 2012 motorcycle collision caused by the Defendant.  He sustained fractures to both wrists, and his right femur. These injuries requires surgical intervention including the installation of hardware in both wrists and his right leg.  His dominant wrist did not fully heal and was left with permanent dysfunction.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $150,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[148]     In this case, the nature of the injury was severe. Mr. Ishii was young when he was injured in the 2010 accident. Mr. Ishii has been left with chronic pain and permanent partial disability of his right dominant wrist, and chronic pain in his right leg. The permanent partial disability in his right dominant wrist impacts his ability to rotate items and do heavy repetitive tasks. He is unable to stand or walk for long periods of time, and cannot run for any distance. As a result of the injuries he sustained in the 2010 accident, Mr. Ishii has not been able to return to some of the recreational activities he enjoyed before and is precluded from trying many new recreational activities, such as racket sports, and climbing, and engaging in activities that require repetitive heavy lifting, or full supination of his right hand. Mr. Ishii had to move back home, and lost his independence as a result of the accident. He has suffered from a depressed mood as a result of his ongoing pain and restrictions.

[149]     As set out above, both Mr. Ishii and the Wong defendants have provided cases which support their positions regarding the appropriate award of general damages for the 2010 accident. In my view, the case that is most similar to the case at bar is Hildebrand. In Hildebrand, a 21 year old auto collision repair technician suffered fractures to his right ankle, right wrist and left femur, in addition to soft tissue injuries, abrasion and chipped teeth. The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair the fractures and spent six days in hospital. He was left with ongoing pain and a partial disability. General damages were assessed at $135,000. In my view, the injuries and residual problems Mr. Ishii suffers are slightly more serious. However, as noted in Stapley, while other cases are helpful, an award will vary in each case to meet the specific circumstances of the case.

[150]     Having considered the factors set out in Stapley, it is my view that the appropriate award for pain and suffering arising from the injuries Mr. Ishii sustained in the 2010 accident is $150,000


$95,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Wrist Injury

April 13th, 2015

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries of non-pecuniary awards for wrist injuries, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Chilliwack Registry, assessing damages for a chronic wrist injury.

In today’s case (Ozeer v. Young) the Plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that ran head on into a hydro pole.  He suffered some soft tissue injuries which resolved without issue.  He also suffered a wrist injury which required multiple surgeries and continued to pose problems.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $95,000 Mr. Justice Saunders provided the following reasons:

[22]         In short, in addition to relatively mild or mild-to-moderate soft tissue injuries, Mr. Ozeer has sustained a severe wrist injury resulting in significant restriction in the use of his dominant hand that will be permanent. He has undergone two surgeries directly attributable to the accident, with an extended recovery period, and will probably have to undergo another surgery to fuse the wrist. He has continued to suffer pain and discomfort to varying degrees. I infer the pain and discomfort will likely only worsen due to the onset of arthritis…

[27]         Of the cases cited, the facts in Ferguson bear the closest resemblance to the present case. The 37-year-old plaintiff in Ferguson suffered injuries to his neck, back and left wrist. His neck and back problems resolved within weeks, but his wrist injury persisted, requiring three surgeries. A report prepared by an orthopaedic and hand surgeon concluded that the plaintiff would be left with permanent weakness in his left hand and he would require job retraining as the injury would probably permanently prevent him from returning to his job as a heavy duty mechanic. Madam Justice Gill awarded the plaintiff $75,000 in non-pecuniary damages.

[28]         I award Mr. Ozeer non-pecuniary damages of $95,000.


$100,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Fractured Shoulder and Wrist

August 26th, 2014

Adding to this site’s archived cases addressing non-pecuniary damages for wrist and shoulder injuries, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for orthopaedic injuries to these areas.

In today’s case (Azam v. Bilaya) the Plaintiff was involved in two motorcycle collisions.  Fault was admitted in both.  In the first collision the Plaintiff suffered a broken shoulder and various soft tissue injuries.  These were aggravated in the second crash which also caused a broken wrist.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 then modestly reducing these to account for pre-existing conditions Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

110]     It is clear that Ms. Azam was injured in both motor vehicle accidents. In the first accident, she suffered a broken shoulder and a neck and back injury. In the second accident, she suffered a broken wrist, injury to her knees and an exacerbation of her pre-existing spine condition.

[111]     I accept she does have chronic pain in her back which is exacerbated by activity; however, I do not accept Ms. Azam’s evidence regarding the impact of her injuries. I did not find Ms. Azam a particularly credible witness, and there is evidence that she is able to function at a higher level than she testified to…

[126]     Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that she is still having chronic pain after the accident which flares up from time to time, the guarded prognosis for full recovery, as well as the authorities I was provided, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages would be $100,000, if the accidents were the only cause of Ms. Azam’s ongoing symptoms.

[127]     However, Ms. Azam must be put back in the position she would have been in if the two motor vehicle accidents had not occurred. The evidence establishes that Ms. Azam suffered from a pre-existing symptomatic spine condition which had caused her periodic back pain in the 10 years prior to the first accident. Although it was not symptomatic right before the first accident, is reasonable to infer Ms. Azam would likely continue to suffer from periodic back pain, regardless of the accidents. Having taken that into consideration, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $85,000.

 


$80,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Fractured Wrist With Residual Complicaitons

February 21st, 2014

Adding to this site’s archived database addressing damages for wrist injuries, reasons for judgement were released this week by BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dealing with a wrist fracture following a cyclist collision.

In this week’s case (Jang v. Ritchie) the Plaintiff was walking along a trail when the Defendant “was cycling along the same trail travelling in the same direction as Mr. and Mrs. Jang. Mr. Ritchie lost control of his bicycle and drove into Mr. Jang striking him in the back“.  The Defendant was found fully at fault for the collision.  The Plaintiff broke his wrist which required immediate surgical attention and went on to cause long term limitations.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $80,000 Madam Justice Fenlon provided the following reasons:

[5]             I also find that Mr. Ritchie’s negligence caused Mr. Jang’s injuries. The injuries were fully described in the medical opinion of Dr. Melvin Serink, an orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Serink stated in his opinion:

… [Mr. Jang] suffered a comminuted fracture involving his left distal radius and ulna. He subsequently was treated with a closed reduction and a Hoffman external fixator. Postoperatively he developed Sudeck’s dystrophy with generalized pain and swelling related to his wrist and PIP joints of his left hand. As a result of his injury, he has been left with permanent soft tissue contractures involving the PIP joints of the fingers involving his left hand. He also has been left with complaints of pain and weakness related to his left wrist associated with generalized stiffness. … [Mr. Jang] is aware of stiffness associated with loss of extension and flexion. As a result of his Sudeck’s he does have decreased power and dexterity related to the fingers of his left hand. …

His range of motion shows loss of extension and flexion by approximately 50% percent. Supination is decreased by approximately 20%. His power grip is significantly decreased secondary to generalized pain related to the PIP joints.

X-rays of his left wrist from January of this year [2012] [show] the complete loss of the space involving the radiocarpal joint. The un-united ulnar styloid is evident. The early osteophyte formation involving the distal radial styloid is also evident.

I have paraphrased slightly to insert Mr. Jang’s name and so on.

[6]             I accept Dr. Serink’s uncontradicted opinion in this case. His observations are consistent with Mr. Jang’s testimony and my own observations of Mr. Jang’s left hand, which is fixed in a somewhat claw-like position. I also find that Mr. Jang’s condition is permanent. The progressive nature of the injury-induced arthritis in his hand will, if anything, increase Mr. Jang’s symptoms as time goes by. Dr. Serink examined Mr. Jang and provided the following opinion in this regard:

As a result of the destruction of the articular cartilage involved in his original fracture, he has developed significant post-traumatic degenerative arthritis. The soft tissue contracture which occurs as a result of the Sudeck’s dystrophy will be permanent. As a result, he will be left with complaints of pain, weakness and generalized stiffness. These complaints will not significantly improve with rest, time or further physiotherapy. At the present time [Mr. Jang] is well motivated and is using Tylenol on a p.r.n. basis for pain control….

[11]         Mr. Jang was in a cast for three months and underwent extensive physiotherapy. Despite that, he continues to have constant pain. He described the pain as eight on a scale of 10. He gets shooting pains on activity. Mr. Jang manages the pain by using Tylenol 3 and heat and by massaging his hand.

[12]         Mrs. Jang touchingly described her husband of 30 years as “hard on the outside, but soft on the inside, a nice man”. She and her daughter, Angela, both described the difficulties they have observed Mr. Jang having now with even simple tasks such as opening a jar.

[13]         Counsel for Mr. Jang took me to a number of cases with somewhat similar facts including Paras v. Muirhead (1996), 71 B.C.A.C. 17; Ferguson v. All-Can Express Ltd., [1988] B.C.J. No. 78 (S.C.); Jackson v. Jeffries, 2012 BCSC 814; Lowe v. Larue, [1998] A.J. No. 1465 (Q.B.); and Kumlea v. Chaytors (1993), 76 B.C.L.R. (2d) 337 (C.A.). Counsel submits non-pecuniary damages in the range of $60,000 to $85,000 would be appropriate.

[14]         While the cases provided to me are helpful, they are not, of course, determinative. Each case must be decided on its own facts. The cases referred to me include some differences such as plaintiffs who are younger or plaintiffs with soft tissue injuries as well as a wrist injury. In many of the cases, the injuries the plaintiffs experienced were not as severe as the injury experienced by Mr. Jang.

[15]         Having considered all of the cases and the particular facts of this case, I am satisfied an award of $80,000 is appropriate for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.


$35,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessmemnt for Broken Wrist Caused by Assault

September 24th, 2013

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Smithers Registry, assessing damages for injuries sustained in an assault.

In last week’s case (Abbott v. Glaim) the Plaintiff and Defendant were together at a house party when they became involved in a brief verbal confrontation.  Although the Court was presented with competing versions of what actually transpired the Court ultimately accepted that following the verbal exchange the Defendant “took both hands and pushed (the Plaintiff) backwards off the deck to the concrete pad below”.

The Plaintiff suffered various injuries including a fractured wrist.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $35,000 Mr. Justice Skolrood provided the following reasons:

[133]     It will be apparent from the above that I accept Joyce’s evidence that she was pushed down the stairs by Lucy…

[137]     The most significant injury suffered by Joyce was to her left wrist. An initial x-ray of the wrist, taken on March 26, 2006, did not reveal a fracture but a subsequent x-ray done on April 5, 2006 showed an undisplaced fracture of the distal radius in her left wrist. A cast was applied which she wore until May 19, 2006.

[138]     Joyce underwent physiotherapy treatments for her wrist beginning in early April 2006. She attended 22 physiotherapy sessions over the course of approximately one year. Joyce testified that her wrist continued to cause her pain and discomfort for a considerable period of time, particularly given that her work as a dental hygienist requires her to use both hands and wrists extensively. Joyce described her left hand as the “mirror hand” in that, because she is right handed, the left hand does things like holding the mirror and pulling the patient’s cheek back while the right hand uses the dental instruments.

[139]     As a result of her wrist injury, Joyce was away from work until June 2006. She initially tried to return to work on a full time basis but quickly scaled back from eight to six hours a day because of ongoing difficulties. It was not until August of 2007 that she was able to return to working an eight hour shift.

[140]     In addition to her wrist injury, Joyce testified that she began to experience regular headaches following the incident. Sometime in 2008, she attended a work seminar in Vancouver on temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”) issues which caused her to consider whether her headaches were the result of a TMJ disorder. She spoke to both her doctor and her dentist about this and she was sent for testing.

[141]     On February 11, 2009, she underwent a CT scan of her head which revealed “focal degenerative activity in the left mandibular condyle.”  The imaging report further notes: “This is an unusual location and raises the possibility that this could be a result of previous trauma.”

[142]     Joyce was examined by a dentist, Dr. Kinkela, on May 5 and June 16, 2009 and he found her symptoms to be consistent with trauma to her TM joints, “particularly an acceleration/deceleration type of an event that would illicit some soft tissue strain on the TMJ supporting structures and lead to a subsequent inflammatory response.”

[143]     However, Dr. Kinkela also noted that he did not have any of Joyce’s records pre-dating the incident so he could not conclusively state the cause of Joyce’s symptoms.

[144]     Joyce was prescribed both a night and a day guard to wear in her mouth which are intended to relieve pressure on the TMJ. Joyce testified that she wears the guards and that they have been useful in reducing the frequency of her headaches.

[145]     One other consequence of the incident according to Joyce has been an increased sense of anxiety and periodic panic attacks. Her doctor prescribed her an antidepressant that she continues to take as well as Ativan to deal with the panic attacks. Joyce testified that she no longer takes the Ativan as the frequency of her panic attacks has diminished.

[146]     Joyce testified to the significant emotional upset and embarrassment she experienced as a result of the incident, the effects of which continued to be felt at the time of trial. She said that she strives to be a role model for her 17 year old daughter, and in the community generally, and that it was traumatizing to be involved in an incident of this nature…

[156]     Taking account of all of the evidence and considering the factors articulated by the Court of Appeal in Stapley I award Joyce $35,000 under this head.

 


$80,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for TFC Tear Reqiring Surgery

May 30th, 2013

Adding to this site’s archives of non-pecuniary judgments for wrist injuries, reasons for judgment were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a TFC tear.

In this week’s case (Burtwell v. McCarrrey) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2009 rear end collision.  She sustained a TFC tear which required surgical intervention. In addition to this she suffered from various soft tissue injuries which continued to post problems at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $80,000 Madam Justice Fisher provided the following reasons:

[42]         I am satisfied that the plaintiff has proved that she suffered the following injuries as a result of the accident of January 20, 2009: (1) TFCC tear in the right wrist and aggravation of arthritis in the right CMC joint; (2) strain and tendonitis in the right shoulder; (3) soft tissue injuries to the neck and upper back; and (4) some depression and anxiety…

[51]         In summary, the TFCC tear caused considerable pain but was substantially resolved within 18 months of the accident, leaving an ongoing loss of strength and mild restriction in flexion; the CMC joint arthritis continues to be painful, will likely progress, and limits the use of the right hand; the shoulder injury also caused considerable pain for over three years, was significantly resolved by May 2012 and there is a good possibility for a more complete recovery by about January 2014 (four years post-accident); the neck and back pain resolved within four months and continues to flare up but will likely improve once Ms. Burtwell engages in a reconditioning program; and the depression is well controlled with medication and is likely to improve with additional counselling, after which medication may no longer be necessary…

[57]         It is always difficult to apply the facts of one case to another, as no two cases are really alike. In general, the awards at the $90,000 to $100,000 level were for injuries that had more serious long term effects than the injuries I have found Ms. Burtwell to have suffered, and the awards at the lower level were for similar injuries that had less impact. In my view, an appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages in this case, taking into account Ms. Burtwell’s pre-existing conditions, is $80,000.


$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries

November 8th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, addressing non-pecuniary damages for a host of injuries including a broken nose, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome requiring surgery and chronic soft tissue injuries.

In this week’s case (Mayervich v. Sadeghipour) the 72 year old Plaintiff was injured in a 2007 crash.  Liability was admitted by the Defendant.   The Plaintiff suffered chronic injuries in the crash with symptoms persisting to trial.  While there was some room for further improvement some symptoms were expected to last indefinitely   In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Mr. Justice Grauer provided the following reasons:

[57]         In my mind, the significant features of this case are these: 

·                 As a result of the accident, Mrs. Mayervich suffered a constellation of injuries, the most significant of which has been myofascial injury in the neck and back resulting in a chronic pain condition accompanied by a major depressive order and cognitive difficulties. 

·                 Included the constellation were a deviated septum (broken nose), and injuries to the arms and hands that culminated in bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.  Both of these conditions required surgical intervention and both have resolved.  There was additional discomfort from injuries to the abdomen and chest. 

·                 These injuries have had a significant impact on Mrs. Mayervich’s quality of life.  The myofascial injuries in particular continue to interfere with her activities of daily living and recreation and have impaired her ability to interact with her husband, her daughters, and her grandchildren. 

·                 Mrs. Mayervich has already experienced nearly 5½ years of physical pain, depression, emotional upheaval and cognitive difficulty as a result of the accident. 

·                 It is likely Mrs. Mayervich will experience real improvement if she undertakes a program such as that recommended by Dr. Posthuma; full recovery however is unlikely, and a real possibility remains that she will experience no significant recovery. 

[58]         In my view, these features bring Mrs. Mayervich’s situation closer to the cases cited by counsel by the plaintiff than those cited by counsel for the defendants.  The award of $125,000 approved by the Court of Appeal in the Rizzolo case was to a considerably younger man who had suffered debilitating chronic pain affecting all aspects of his life but who had been able to return to his pre-accident employment.  In Hsu, on the other hand, the most recent of the three cases relied on by the defence where the award was $30,000, the plaintiff suffered from chronic neck and back myofascial disorder but this was an aggravation of pre-existing soft tissue conditions from a previous accident that had already given rise to chronic pain. 

[59]         Each case must of course be decided upon its own facts.  Considering all of the facts discussed above, I assess Mrs. Mayervich’s non-pecuniary damages at $85,000.


$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Wrist Fracture With Post Traumatic Arthritis

June 18th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a fractured wrist which resulted in post traumatic arthritis and permanent dysfunction.

In last week’s case (Bevacqua v. Yaworski) the Plaintiff was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle as she was crossing the street.  Fault for the crash was admitted.  The Plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of her distal radius which required surgery.

The injury resulted in post traumatic arthritis developing which interfered with its function and was expected to cause limitations on a permanent basis.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 the Court highlighted the following medical evidence addressing prognsois and provided the following reasons:

[9] In his May 15 report, Dr. Somani states as follows:

Prognosis.

It is my opinion that Ms. Bevacqua has plateaued with respect to function.  She continues to have discomfort of the right wrist. Clinical examination has demonstrated reduced range of motion and reduced grip strength. Recent x-rays have confirmed probable premature osteoarthritis which may be progressive.

Ms. Bevacqua has impairment in the abilities to self-care, housecleaning, laundry, complex meal preparation and transportation as outlined by the occupational therapy assessment.

Ms. Bevacqua will continue to require support services which may include cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, laundry and transportation.

Ms. Bevacqua may require specialized bracing for her right wrist and possibly an orthopedic opinion should her osteoarthritis progress in the future.

Ms. Bevacqua will continue to require analgesia for pain management and regular assessments of her home with respect of safety features including handrails etc….

[22] On March 8, 2010, Emilia Bevacqua was an active, independent woman of 76 clearly taking great pleasure in her life.  After her injury, she was not able to look after herself and took a long while to even get back to walking.  Now she is left with a right hand of limited use because of pain, arthritis and de-conditioning, a fear of walking on her own and significant loss of function such that she can no longer cook as she once did, or do the heavier housework.  She continues to have pain and suffering and her enjoyment of life is markedly diminished.  For that loss, I award her general damages of $85,000.


$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Scapholunate Ligament Tear with Persistent Limitations

June 7th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a wrist injury causing long term limitations.

In this week’s case (Jackson v. Jeffries) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 head on collision.  The Defendant admitted fault for the crash.  The Plaintiff, who had learning difficulties, trained to be a plumber and was working as an apprentice plumber by the time of the collision.  The crash caused a Scapholunate ligament injury to his wrist which required surgery.  He was left with persistent pain and stiffness in his wrist and, as a result of these limitations, was no longer medically suited for his physical career.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 the Court provided the following reasons:

[39] Dr. Perey, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and elbow surgery, saw Mr. Jackson on February 4, 2010, on referral from Dr Wong.  Mr. Jackson was complaining of activity related wrist pain, notwithstanding that x-rays and an MRI did not reveal any abnormality.  Dr. Perey suspected a scapholunate ligament tear which was confirmed during wrist arthroscopic surgery performed May 10, 2010.

[40] Following surgery, Mr. Jackson was placed in a splint for 10 days followed by a cast for 8-10 weeks.  Dr. Perey wrote in his medical report of August 31, 2010, that Mr. Jackson was making “remarkable strides” although he had residual pain and stiffness.

[41] It was Dr. Perey’s prognosis that Mr. Jackson’s symptoms would continue to improve, but that he would likely have some persistent pain and stiffness with his wrist which would be aggravated by heavy use.  Dr. Perey recommended “a re-training program to a less physically demanding occupation than a plumber.”  He concluded Mr. Jackson could “resume intermittent physical activities involved in hobbies and sports.”…

[71] As Dr. Feldman described, Mr. Jackson has a partial permanent disability which will result in him not being able to continue as a plumber in the future.  He will be left with ongoing back pain and stiffness and weakness in his wrist.

[72] Mr. Jackson is not fitted to labouring-type work or other work which will place strain on his back and wrist.  The range of potential occupations has been narrowed as a result of the injuries…

[84] As the cases are similar on their facts, I award Mr. Jackson non-pecuniary damages of $75,000.


$65,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For TFC Tear and Mechanical Back Pain

February 8th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a wrist and back injury sustained in a collision.

In last week’s case (Rutter v. Allen) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2006 collision.  The Defendants were found at fault for the rear-end crash which caused about $18,000 in damage to the Plaintiff’s vehicle.

The Plaintiff sustained a left wrist Triangular Fibrocartilage Tear (a tear to the cartilage at the base of the wrist joint) and soft tissue injuries to the low back.  The TFC tear required surgical correction.

The low back pain became chronic and continued to cause discomfort at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $65,000 Mr. Justice Joyce provided the following reasons:

[26] Mr. Rutter alleges that he sustained an injury to his wrist as a result of the accident, specifically an “ulnar carpal impaction with a tear of the triangular fibrocartilage”. In January 2010, Dr. Perey, an orthopaedic surgeon, operated on Mr. Rutter’s wrist to shorten the ulnar bone, which largely resolved the problem with the wrist, although Mr. Rutter testified that he still had occasional sharp pains in his wrist…

[40] In my view, there is a body of evidence, which I accept that supports the opinions of the medical experts. The evidence as a whole supports a finding, on balance, that the accident was the underlying cause of the problem and that but for this accident, Mr. Rutter would not have developed the wrist problem that was eventually corrected by surgery…

[52] Mr. Rutter has an underlying spondylolisthesis, which is a condition in which the vertebrae are out of proper position, but this was largely asymptomatic prior to the motor vehicle accident.

[53] I find that Mr. Rutter’s suffers chronic back pain that was caused by the accident of December 15, 2006. I find further that it is unlikely that he will return to his pre-accident level of activity, although it is likely that he can achieve some improvement with regular exercise, including core muscle strength training…

[65] Mr. Rutter led a very active life before the accident and was involved in a number of sports, particularly golf and running. His injuries, particularly the back injury, have led to a significant change in lifestyle for Mr. Rutter. Since the accident, Mr. Rutter has had to reduce his sporting activities substantially. He is also curtailed somewhat in his day-to-day activities, including assisting with housework and household maintenance. He has difficulty sleeping and, at times, is more irritable than he was before the accident. Fortunately, Mr. Rutter has been able to maintain his full-time employment despite his symptoms. I am satisfied that Mr. Rutter finds his life today more frustrating and less enjoyable than previously. Mr. Rutter suffers chronic back pain that is likely to continue well into the future, although Dr. le Nobel is of the opinion that if Mr. Rutter engages in an exercise regime that is developed and maintained with the assistance of a physiotherapist and kinesiologist some improvement in his symptoms is probable…

[77] In my view, the chronic low back pain which Mr. Rutter experiences has a more significant impact on his life and the prognosis for significant improvement is not as good as was the case inMawji and Perez. In my view, the authorities cited by Mr. Rutter are more representative of an appropriate range of non-pecuniary damages considering the nature and effect of his injuries. I assess non-pecuniary damages at $65,000.00.