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 ‘Madam Justice Gerow’

$175,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Post Concussion Syndrome and Chronic Pain

January 5th, 2017

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a “violent” collision resulting in a permanent brain injury and chronic pain.

In today’s case (Sundin v. Turnbull) the Plaintiff was rear-ended while riding his motorcycle in 2012.  The collision was severe with the motorcycle being embedded in the Defendant’s truck as a result of the forces involved.

The Plaintiff suffered a head injury and post concussive symptoms lingered.  The Plaintiff developed chronic pain and the prognosis for the conditions was poor with residual permanent disability.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $175,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[106]     As stated earlier, the accident involving Mr. Sundin and Mr. Turnbull was a violent one. Mr. Sundin’s motorcycle was embedded into Mr. Turnbull’s pickup truck and Mr. Sundin was thrown through the air landing on the pavement. Immediately after the accident Mr. Sundin was dazed and spitting out teeth.

[107]     As well, there is no issue regarding Mr. Sundin’s credibility. I found that Mr. Sundin provided evidence in a straight forward and reliable fashion. I accept his symptoms as he described them are genuine.

[108]     There is no question that Mr. Sundin’s life has changed profoundly as a result of the accident. Prior to the accident Mr. Sundin had a history of performing at a high level in both his work and personal life.

[109]     As set out earlier, all the experts agree that Mr. Sundin suffered a MTBI, as well as numerous soft tissue injuries and damage to his teeth in the accident. As Dr. Benavente, the defendant’s expert, acknowledged, Mr. Sundin continues to suffer from post-concussion syndrome as a direct result of the head injury he sustained in the accident. Mr. Sundin’s ongoing symptoms of chronic headaches, problems with concentration and memory, and mood problems are attributable to the post-concussion syndrome.

[110]     As well as his cognitive problems, the expert and lay evidence establishes that as a result of the accident, Mr. Sundin suffers from chronic pain in his neck, shoulders and back, problems with his teeth and jaw, and some ongoing pain in his hips and knees. The evidence is that it is unlikely Mr. Sundin will recover to his pre-accident condition, mentally or physically. Mr. Sundin is having a difficult time accepting that he cannot perform physically or mentally as he did before the accident, and as a result has developed an adjustment disorder. The ongoing symptoms Mr. Sundin is suffering from as a result of the accident impact every aspect of his life.

[111]     As noted in Stapley, the assessment of non-pecuniary damages depends on the particular circumstances of the plaintiff in each case. Having considered Mr. Sundin’s age, the nature of his injuries, the severity of his symptoms and the fact they have been ongoing for four years with little improvement, the ongoing treatments, the psychological, cognitive and memory problems, and the guarded prognosis for full recovery, as well as the authorities, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $175,000.


$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Back and Knee Injury

August 26th, 2015

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic back and knee injury sustained in a collision.

In today’s case (Ali v. Fineblit) the Plaintiff was involved in a collision that the Defendant was found fully liable for.  The injuries included a low back and knee injury which remained symptomatic at trial and had a poor prognosis.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $70,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[82]         As indicated above, Ms. Fineblit concedes that Mr. Ali suffered a soft tissue injury to his back and an injury to his left knee in the accident.

[83]         It is clear from Mr. Ali’s evidence, as well as the evidence of his family, treating health care professionals and the medical experts that he is suffering from ongoing symptoms in his left knee and low back.

[84]         Prior to the accident Mr. Ali did not have any problems with his left knee or low back. The evidence is that Mr. Ali’s knee injury has impacted all areas of his life, including his work. The evidence is that he was very physically active, and ran and hiked on a regular basis to offset the sitting demands of his job. Since the accident, he has not been able to return to many of his pre-accident activities, such as running, snowboarding and hiking. As well, Mr. Ali’s ongoing left knee symptoms prevent him from doing some of the household chores, and his wife has taken on more of the household duties and cleaning. Mr. Ali’s wife and sister testified that his mood had changed since the accident and he does not have the easy going nature he did prior to the accident.

[85]         The evidence is that the symptoms from his left knee and back injury have all impacted his work. Mr. Ali travelled by plane frequently for his work prior to the accident. Since the accident, Mr. Ali had limited his air travel because he has trouble sitting on long flights. Mr. Ali testified that he experiences increased pain in his knee after sitting on flights. As well, Mr. Ali has increased back and knee symptoms from sitting at his desk or standing for long periods of time.

[86]         As noted earlier, while there maybe some improvement to Mr. Ali’s left knee and back symptoms over time with a supervised exercise program, there is a likelihood that his left knee injury will cause limitations and pain indefinitely and he will suffer from ongoing flare ups of back pain. I find that as a result of the accident, Mr. Ali has been left with ongoing chronic pain in his left knee which is unlikely to resolve, and intermittent pain in his back. Dr. Fuller and Dr. Stewart agree it is likely Mr. Ali will have some symptom improvement with further physiotherapy and/or active rehabilitation.

[87]         I have reviewed the cases provided. Each case has distinctive facts, and it is often difficult to reconcile them as awards for pain and suffering are individual in nature. The cases provided by Mr. Ali are to some extent predicated on his submissions that the accident exacerbated his headaches, which as stated above, is not supported by the evidence. The cases provided by Ms. Fineblit are to some extent predicated on her submissions that Mr. Ali’s back improved within four weeks of the accident which were rejected.

[88]         In summary, the accident caused injuries to Mr. Ali’s left knee and back which have been slow to resolve. There is a likelihood that the symptoms and restrictions of the left knee are permanent, and he will continue to suffer from intermittent back pain as a result of the accident. Having considered the evidence, and the cases provided by counsel, it is my view that an award of non-pecuniary damages in the amount $70,000 is appropriate.


$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


$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.

 


$100,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Onset of Degenerative Disc Disease Pain

August 12th, 2014

A common pattern following the trauma of a motor vehicle collision is the onset of symptoms in an otherwise asymptomatic degenerative spine.  Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Courtenay Registry, dealing with such a fact pattern.

In today’s case (McCarthy v. Davies) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2010 collision caused by the Defendant’s negligence.  She sustained chronic pain in her neck and back which ultimately were diagnosed as originating from degenerative disc disease.  The collision caused the onset of symptoms.  The Court rejected the Defendant’s argument that the symptoms would have come on in any event and in assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[65]         In my view, the evidence establishes the probable cause of Ms. McCarthy’s ongoing neck, upper back and lower back pain is that the injuries she sustained in the accident exacerbated her pre-existing asymptomatic degenerative disc disease. While there was a risk that the degenerative disc disease in her neck and back would become symptomatic at some point in the future, the evidence is that she did not have neck or back pain prior to the accident. As stated by Dr. Leete, there are approximately 10 to 15% of patients who suffer from long term intrusive symptoms as a result of the trauma to their spines from a motor vehicle accident.

[66]         Having reviewed the evidence I have concluded this is one of those cases, and the defendant is liable for Ms. McCarthy’s ongoing symptoms even though they may be more severe than expected due to her pre-existing condition. As stated by the experts, many individuals have degeneration in their spines without any symptoms. Accordingly I conclude Ms. McCarthy’s ongoing symptoms fall within the thin skull rule enunciated in Athey.

[67]         I find that but for the accident Ms. McCarthy would not be suffering from the chronic pain in her neck, shoulder and back with the associated mental distress…

[103]     Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that the symptoms have been ongoing four years with little improvement, the guarded prognosis for full recovery, as well as the authorities, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $100,000.


$90,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Onset of Pain in Pre-Existing Spinal Degeneration

December 4th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a common injury sustained in a motor vehicle collision; the onset of symptoms in pre-existing but otherwise asymptomatic spinal degeneration.

In this week’s case (Johnson v. Kitchener) the Plaintiff was involved in two collisions, the first in 2007 where he was rear-ended by a tractor trailer, the second in 2008 which aggravated in the injuries from the first crash.  Prior to the first collision the Plaintiff had “significant degeneration” in his neck and less severe degeneration in the rest of his spine.  Despite this condition the Plaintiff was asymptomatic.  The collisions caused this condition to become painful.  The court found that while the neck symptoms likely would have developed at some point in time absent the collision, the back would have remained asymptomatic absent trauma.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $90,000 (prior to making a modest deduction for the likelihood of neck symptoms in any event) Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[58] In my view, the evidence establishes the probable cause of Mr. Johnson’s ongoing neck, upper back and lower back pain is that the injuries he sustained in the 2007 accident, and the 2008 accident to a lesser extent, exacerbated his pre-existing asymptomatic degenerative disc disease. While there was risk to the degenerative disc disease in his neck becoming symptomatic, the medical evidence was that the lower back would likely not have become symptomatic absent some trauma.

[59] Dr. Travlos’ evidence was that he did not know exactly when the neck would become symptomatic and could not give an opinion regarding the severity of any symptoms. It is clear from the expert evidence that the 2007 accident caused a serious injury to the neck which has caused pain and suffering sooner, more frequently and to a notably greater degree.

[60] It is apparent from the evidence that Mr. Johnson has returned to his sporting activities and he has a strong work ethic. He is not a man to sit around and he continues to be active despite the pain it causes him. Mr. Johnson’s evidence is that he will continue to work at Ocean Concrete until he finds something more suitable despite the increase in symptoms he has from the physical aspects of the job. As well, he will continue to engage in whatever sports he can, knowing he will pay for it.

[61] Mr. Johnson’s evidence is consistent with the medical opinions. For example, Dr. Froh’s opinion is that Mr. Johnson will not harm himself with high demand activities; however, it will likely result in increased pain and symptoms.

[62] In my opinion, Mr. Johnson’s neck symptoms fall within the crumbling skull rule enunciated in Athey, and any award must reflect that. However, I am of the view, the defendants are liable for his lower back symptoms even though they may be more than severe than expected due to his pre-existing condition. The evidence of the experts is that many individuals have degeneration in their spines without any symptoms and that the degeneration in Mr. Johnson’s lower back was similar to other individuals of his age. There is no evidence that his lower back would have become symptomatic absent the 2007 accident. Accordingly I have concluded that his lower back symptoms fall within the thin skull rule enunciated in Athey. ..

[68] Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that the symptoms are ongoing five years after the accident with little improvement, 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 $90,000 if the accidents were the only cause of Mr. Johnson’s ongoing symptoms. However, given the evidence that Mr. Johnson was likely to have suffered some neck symptoms from his degenerative condition within 3 to 10 years, that award should be reduced by 10% to $81,000.


Withdrawn Formal Offer Still Effective In Triggering Double Costs

July 13th, 2012

In my continued efforts to track the judicial shaping of Rule 9-1, reasons for judgement were released recently by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordering double costs following trial where a Plaintiff bested a withdrawn formal settlement offer.

In the recent case (Bartel v. Milliken) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 collision.  Prior to trial the Plaintiff delivered a formal settlement offer of $29,800.  This offer was withdrawn after trial but before judgement.  The trial ended in March of 2012 and judgement was delivered in April.  The judgement exceeded the Plaintiff’s formal offer by abot $9,000.  The Plaintiff applied for post offer double costs.  The Defendant argued these should not be awarded since the offer was withdrawn.  Madam Justice Gerow rejected this argument and awarded post-offer double costs.  In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:

[15] As stated earlier, the defendants submit the fact that Ms. Bartel withdrew her offer after trial is a factor which weighs against the awarding of double costs because it deprived the defendants of the ability to accept the offer at a later date as contemplated by the rule.

[16] However, at the same time the defendants concede that the intention and spirit of the rule governing formal offers to settle is to avoid the cost of a trial. In my view, the fact that Ms. Bartel withdrew her offer to settle between the time the trial ended and judgment was rendered is not a factor that weighs against an award of double costs.


$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Onset of Symptoms in Pre-Existing Degenerative Disc Disease

May 11th, 2012

As previously discussed, a common occurrence following a collision is the onset of symptoms in a pre-existing, but otherwise asymptomatic, conditions.  Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, highlighting and assessing damages for such a scenario.

In this week’s case (Zawislak v. Karbovanec) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 rear-end collision.  Fault was admitted by the opposing motorist.  The Plaintiff had pre-existing, asymptomatic, degenerative disc disease in his spine.  The collision rendered this condition symptomatic resulting in on-going chronic symptoms.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[31] Dr. Cameron, a neurologist, examined Ms. Zawislak on August 24, 2011. He found signs of muscle spasm in her shoulder muscles and neck muscles, left side predominant. In Dr. Cameron’s opinion, Ms. Zawislak suffered a soft tissue injury and musculoskeletal injuries to her neck, shoulders and upper back in the motor vehicle accident. Ms. Zawislak has developed headaches associated with the neck pain as a result of the musculoskeletal injuries to her neck and shoulders that she sustained in the accident. In Dr. Cameron’s opinion, Ms. Zawislak remains partially disabled because of the ongoing upper back pain, headaches and neck pain which had resulted from the soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal injuries in the form of a whiplash she sustained in the motor vehicle accidents.

[32] According to Dr. Cameron, 80% of the individuals over the age of 40 have degenerative disc disease and most of those individuals go around without pain until a trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, renders their disc disease symptomatic. Trauma makes the asymptomatic condition symptomatic. Ms. Zawislak’s neck was partially degenerated and, in his opinion, her ongoing pain in her neck, with the attendant headaches, and her back are likely caused by the motor vehicle accident…

[44] In my view, the evidence establishes that the probable cause of Ms. Zawislak’s headaches, neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain is the motor vehicle accident exacerbating the pre?existing asymptomatic degenerative disc disease. While there was some risk of her degenerative disc disease becoming symptomatic, the medical evidence was that it was likely it would not become symptomatic absent a trauma. In my opinion, this case falls within the “thin skull” rule as opposed to the “crumbling skull” rule enunciated in Athey, and the defendants are liable for Ms. Zawislak’s injuries even though they may be more severe than expected due to her pre?existing condition…

[49] Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that the symptoms are ongoing three years after the accident with very little improvement, that the prognosis for full recovery is guarded, as well as the authorities I was provided, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non?pecuniary damages is $60,000.


$35,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For SI Joint Injury With Flare-Ups; LVI Defence Rejected

April 27th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for a sacroiliac joint injury caused by a motor vehicle collision.

In last week’s case (Bartel v. Milliken) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 collision.  Fault was admitted by the Defendant.  Although the Defendant challenged the Plaintiff’s credibility arguing she “is exaggerating her injuries and their effect” the Court rejected this submission and found the Plaintiff suffered various soft tissue injuries which continued to flare with activity.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $35,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[26] It is apparent from a review of the whole of the evidence that Ms. Bartel suffered injuries to her neck and back in the accident which had resolved for the most part by February 2009, although she was still experiencing intermittent pain in her sacroiliac joint areas. Since then she has had flare-ups, the October 2009 incident being the most significant. Although there is some evidence of ongoing shoulder problems, the evidence is that Ms. Bartel suffered from shoulder problems prior to the accident. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that her ongoing shoulder problems are as a result of the motor vehicle accident.

[27] Both Dr. Kelly and Dr. le Nobel are of the opinion that Ms. Bartel’s prospect for full recovery is guarded. However, Dr. le Nobel is of the opinion that Ms. Bartel may have significant improvement if not complete resolution of her symptoms with injections into her back and an exercise program.

[28] Based on the evidence, I have concluded that Ms. Bartel suffered a moderate soft tissue injury to her neck, back and sacroiliac joint which resolved for the most part within seven months with occasional flare-ups. The injuries Ms. Bartel suffered have restricted her ability to engage in gardening and walking in the manner she could prior to the motor vehicle accident. It is likely there will be ongoing restrictions on her gardening as a result of the injuries…

[35] Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that the symptoms were largely resolved within seven months with occasional flare-ups and the ongoing restrictions on Ms. Bartel’s gardening, as well as the authorities I was provided, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non pecuniary damages is $35,000.

Another noteworthy aspect of the judgement was the Court’s rejection of the so called LVI defence.  The Defendant argued that since there was modest vehicle damage the injury itself was modest.  In rejecting this submission the Court provided the following comments:

[23] Finally, the defendants point to the fact that the accident was not severe enough to cause the ongoing symptoms Ms. Bartel complains of. The defendants’ proposition that a low velocity accident cannot cause any significant injury to a plaintiff has not been accepted in a number of cases, including Gordon v. Palmer (1993), 78 B.C.L.R. (2d) 236 (S.C.); Lubick v. Mei, 2008 BCSC 555; and Jackman v. All Season Labour Supplies Ltd., 2006 BCSC 2053. As stated in Gordon at paras. 4 and 5:

I do not subscribe to the view that if there is no motor vehicle damage then there is no injury. This is a philosophy that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may follow, but it has no application in court. it is not a legal principle of which I am aware and I have never heard it endorsed as a medical principle.

Significant injuries can be caused by the most casual of slip and falls. Conversely, accidents causing extensive property damage may leave those involved unscathed. The presence and extent of injuries are to be determined on the basis of evidence given in court. Objectivity is thus preserved and the public does not have to concern itself with extraneous philosophies that some would impose on the judicial process.

[24] Although the severity of the accident is a factor that should be taken into consideration when determining whether Ms. Bartel suffered injuries in the motor vehicle accident and the extent of those injuries, it is not determinative of either issue. Rather the whole of the evidence must be considered in determining those issues.


$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages for Moderate, Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries

March 26th, 2012

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for soft tissue injuries caused by multiple collisions.

In last week’s case (Tait v. Dumansky) the Plaintiff was involved in three consecutive collisions. Ultimately the various Defendants admitted liability or were found liable at trial.  The 42 year old Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck, shoulder and back in the collisions.  These injuries remained symptomatic at the time of trial and were expected to continue in the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Madam Justice Gerow provided the following reasons:

[37] In this case, all of the medical evidence is that Mr. Tait has suffered a moderate soft tissue injuries to his neck, shoulder and back. Although Mr. Tait’s symptoms have not completely resolved, and he still experiences flare-ups when he overexerts himself physically, the consensus amongst the medical experts is that Mr. Tait will likely have further improvement.

[38] Dr. Arthur, the defendants’ expert, opined on March 17, 2010, that Mr. Tait is partially disabled at this point, but should be able to get back to full duty and full hours. At trial, Dr. Arthur said he was of the opinion at that time that Mr. Tait should have been able to get back to full time duties in two to four months after he examined him if he carried out an active rehabilitation program. In cross-examination he explained that did not mean Mr. Tait would not have ongoing complaints after two to four months.

[39] Dr. Birch, Mr. Tait’s family doctor, provided an expert report and testified. In his report of July 25, 2011, Dr. Birch diagnosed Mr. Tait with muscle tension headaches and neck, shoulder, upper, mid and low back sprain and strain with significant muscle spasm. The injuries were caused by the 2007 accident and aggravated by the accidents in 2009 and 2010.  As of July 23, 2011, Mr. Tait was noted to be tender to palpation in both shoulders, upper, mid and low back bilaterally with some intermittent pain radiating down his right leg. The range of motion in Mr. Tait’s neck and low back were both moderately restricted in all directions. Although Dr. Birch expected some further improvement of Mr. Tait’s symptoms, his prognosis for full recovery is poor because of the number of injuries impacting the same area…

[46] In my view, the evidence establishes that Mr. Tait is suffering from ongoing symptoms of headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain as a result of the motor vehicle accidents. The evidence is that there has been ongoing improvement, with occasional flare-ups due to physical exertion, and that there should be additional improvement…

[51] Having considered the extent of the injuries, the fact that the symptoms are ongoing for four years with some improvement but with periods of exacerbation, the fact that the prognosis for full recovery is somewhat guarded, as well as the authorities I was provided, I am of the view that the appropriate award for non?pecuniary damages is $60,000.