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$100,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Incompletely Healed Tibia Fracture from Snowmobile Collision

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic leg injury following a snowmobile collision.

In today’s case (Carothers v. Imus) the Plaintiff was a passenger on a snowmobile that collided with another snowmobile crushing the plaintiff’s left leg in between the two snowmobiles.

The impact resulted in  a tibial fracture that required surgical intervention.  The injury went on to incomplete resolution and resulted in chronic symptoms.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 Madam Justice Horsman provided the following reasons:

[25]       The causation analysis is straightforward in this case. The evidence indicates, and I accept, that the plaintiff suffered a tibial fracture in her lower left leg as a result of the Accident. The injury required surgery, and the plaintiff underwent a closed reduction of her left distal tibia on January 7, 2002. I accept Dr. Regan’s opinion that the fracture healed incompletely, leaving her with ongoing pain and associated symptoms.

[26]       I accept the plaintiff’s evidence as to the impacts that the injury to her leg have had, and continue to have, on her life. The plaintiff was a forthright and credible witness who did not exaggerate or overstate her evidence. If anything, the plaintiff might more accurately be described as stoic in her resolve to carry on with her life as best she can despite the physical limitations resulting from the Accident.

[27]       In the immediate aftermath of the Accident, the plaintiff experienced severe pain and impacts to her life. She was off work for three months. Since the Accident, the plaintiff has been unable to resume her formerly active life. She avoids physical activities, and experiences pain when she does engage in too much activity.

[28]       I accept Dr. Regan’s opinion that the plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms in her lower left leg are unlikely to resolve absent further surgical intervention.

[29]       I find that the Accident was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s tibial fracture, and her ongoing symptoms are a result of its incomplete healing. She is entitled to damages from the defendants to compensate for these injuries…

[35]       While the plaintiff’s injuries in Falati were more extensive, the plaintiff in the present case has suffered more serious complications over time due to the incomplete healing of her fracture. Given her age, the impact that the injury has had on her physical condition and quality of life for the past 18 years, and the likelihood that her symptoms will continue in the future, I conclude that $100,000 is fair and reasonable compensation for her non-pecuniary damages.

bc injury law, Carothers v. Imus, Madam Justice Horsman, tibia fracture