ICBC Law

BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

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

Erik Magraken does not work for and is not affiliated in any way with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Please note that this blog is for information only and is not claim-specific legal advice.  Erik can only provide legal advice to clients. Please click here to arrange a free consultation.

Posts Tagged ‘Artery Studios’

Humerus Fracture Non-Pecuniary Damages Assessed at $110,000

May 15th, 2010

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Kamloops Registry, assessing damages for a comminuted fracture involving the left humerus (shoulder injury).

(Illustration provided courtesy of Artery Studios Ltd.)

Today’s case (Legault v. Brock Shopping Centre Ltd.) involved a slip and fall injury in 2005 in Kamloops, BC.  The Plaintiff was walking towards a business known as “Penny Pinchers” in Kamloops BC.  As he approached the shopping centre his foot slipped on ice and he stumbled forward falling “into the store front window“.  He suffered various injuries, the most serious of which was a fractured shoulder.

The Plaintiff was found 50% at fault for his own injuries for “not observing the ground conditions beneath his feet as he approached the sidewalk“.  The Defendant owner was also found 50% at fault for not clearing the ice with the Court finding that “the Defendant owner failed to respond to two calls from the tenant to address the condition of the parking lot.  Responding to one of these calls would likely have appraised the owner of the melting and freezing conditions that also affected the sidewalk margin area“.

The Plaintiff’s orthopaedic surgeon gave the following evidence with respect to the severity of the injury:

Mr. Legault slipped and fell through a plate glass window at a shopping mall. He sustained a number of small lacerations to his upper extremities and his lip which were sutured in the emergency department. The main impact occurred on his left shoulder and he was diagnosed with a proximal humerus fracture…Radiographs and CT scan performed December 6, 2005, revealed a comminuted intraarticular fracture of the proximal humerus with slight superior and posterior displacement of the greater tuberosity….

Mr. Legault has developed post traumatic arthritis of his left shoulder most probably secondary to a fracture sustained December 6, 2005. Although the symptoms of pain and stiffness due to arthritis may plateau, it is possible that he may experience progressive symptoms in the shoulder as time passes. As arthritis is an irreversible condition, Mr. Legault has a permanent impairment. He is likely to experience increased symptoms with repetitive activity, overhead activity, and activities which load the shoulder joint including use of vibratory tools or machinery, or heavy lifting. Surgical options for shoulder arthritis include arthrpacopy and debridement or hemi or total arthroplasty. The results of these procedures for post traumatic arthritis (as compared to degenerative osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, for example) are less favorable. In this particular patient, his complication rate would be significantly increased due to his size and longstanding diabetes.

The Plaintiff’s total damages were assessed at $354,311 but this award was cut in half to account for the plaintiff’s contributory negligence.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages of $110,000 for the Plaintiff’s shoulder injury the Court found as follows:

I am satisfied that he has suffered an injury that has resulted in a permanent partial disability and will permanently affect his enjoyment of life on a daily basis, causing him difficulty with self care hygiene, dressing, moving up and down stairs, marital intimacy, home maintenance tasks, and driving. The physical injury has also made it more difficult to manage his obesity and other health issues related to fitness. His wife testified that she feels as if she has lost her husband entirely.  He was formerly able to lift and carry heavy automobile components and use heavy power tools in the course of working on vintage cars, which was his main interest in life; but he is unable to do that and has lost much of his zest for life.

[51] The plaintiff has referred me to cases where non-pecuniary awards in the range of $125,000 to $150,000 were made and the defendant relies on cases in the range of $70,000 to $75,000. I assess Mr. Legault’s loss under this head of damages at $110,000, which is subject, of course to the 50/50 apportionment of liability, as will be the case with the awards under the remaining heads of damage.


Non-Pecuniary Damages for Fractured Tibia and Fibula With Intermedullary Nailing Discussed

April 8th, 2010

(Illustration provided courtesy of Artery Studios Inc.)

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, awarding damages as a result of a 2007 BC motor vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Falati v. Smith) the Plaintiff was injured when he was struck by a vehicle.  He was walking on the sidewalk on Marine Drive in West Vancouver when the Plaintiff’s vehicle mounted the curb, drove across the sidewalk and pinned the plaintiff against a building.

The Plaintiff suffered orthopaedic injuries described as “a crush-type fracture to his left tibia and a fracture to the fibula“.  These injuries required surgical intervention with intermedullary nailing.

The Plaintiff made a reasonably good recovery although he continued to have symptoms of pain by the time of trial.   His orthopaedic surgeon gave the following evidence with respect to prognosis and disability:

At this stage, Mr. Falati has only a mild amount of identifiable impairment in the left leg, ankle and foot. He does have evidence of pain symptoms in the leg and left ankle and left foot. However, he is noted to have essentially near normal motor power function as well as near normal range of motion. As such, his current impairment level is low. Nevertheless, there is an impairment present and the exact diagnosis underlying this impairment remains unclear. As a result, defining the likelihood of this impairment remaining permanent is impossible. It is important to note that disability represents the difference between what an individual is expected to do or required to do, and what they are capable of doing, due to the presence of a physical impairment. Since Mr. Falati still does have some evidence of physical impairment, albeit mild, some element of disability does remain. The probability of such disability remaining on a permanent basis seems very low with respect to the left knee and left tibia specifically. However, with respect to the left ankle, a more clear diagnosis would be required prior to making any estimate of permanence

In assessing his non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) at $85,000 Mr. Justice Saunders reasoned as follows:

Neither of the orthopaedic surgeons whose reports are in evidence, Dr. Penner and Dr. Jando, have expressed an opinion that the plaintiff’s foot pain and resulting limitations are likely to be permanent; Dr. Jando has offered the option of further surgery to remove the hardware. The plaintiff’s general practitioner, Dr. Kates, has pointed to both surgery, and weight loss, as possible means of addressing the complaints of persistent pain. Dr. Kates does use the phrase, “some element of permanent left ankle disability”, but as he goes on to point to the remaining hardware as a possible cause, I do not take him to mean “irreversible”. Although there is some possibility of a permanent disability in the present case, the evidence does not establish this to be a probability. Taking such possibility into account, I award the plaintiff non-pecuniary damages of $85,000.


Artery Studios – Thank You and Welcome Aboard!

March 15th, 2010

I’d like to take a quick moment to thank the good people at Artery Studios, Inc. in Toronto, Ontario.

Artery Studios specializes in the creation of custom medical illustrations, animations and interactive media for medico-legal and other purposes.

Here are two samples of their work:

If you are advancing a personal injury claim and are preparing for mediation or trial you should give serious consideration to obtaining custom designed demonstrative illustrations. The impact of quality demonstrative evidence in the legal process cannot be understated. When dealing with traumatic injuries pictures often speak louder than words and these illustrations can help educate Judges, Jurors and Insurers about the specifics of an injury claim. Education leads to persuasion which in turn can help achieve a better result.

Artery Studios Inc. has generously agreed to provide medico-illustrations for use in my blog posts. I look forward to displaying their work on this site and welcome the opportunity to enhance my articles with the use of these quality illustrations.

Thank you very much and welcome to the BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog!