$100,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Multi Level Disc Herniations

Adding to this site’s archives addressing non-pecuniary damages for spine injury cases, reasons for judgement were released recently by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dealing with such an injury.
In the recent case (Tabet v. Hatzis) the Plaintiff was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle while walking in a marked crosswalk.  He suffered a variety of injuries the most serious being multi level disc herniations in his low back which went on to cause chronic symptoms.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 Madam Justice Dickson provided the following reasons:
[47]         The defence does not challenge most of the expert evidence presented by Mr. Tabet regarding his accident-related injuries.  In summary, he has been diagnosed by Dr. Sahjpaul, a neurosurgeon, as suffering from low back pain; myofascial and discogenic neck pain; myofascial left leg symptoms, radicular and discogenic; and concussion, resolved.  Dr. Sahjpaul also diagnosed left arm symptoms, but the etiology of those symptoms is uncertain.  In addition, Mr. Tabet has been diagnosed by Dr. Chernick, a psychiatrist, as suffering from depression.  Other than the left arm symptoms, I accept that these conditions are causally connected with the accident.
[48]         According to Dr. Sahjpaul, a September, 2007 post-accident CT scan demonstrated a left L4-5 disc herniation and a broad based L5-S1 disc bulge.  Subsequent investigations demonstrated the L5-S1 disc bulge has also become herniated.  Unfortunately, Mr. Tabet’s prognosis for complete recovery from associated symptoms is not favourable.  While it is possible that his left leg symptoms will improve somewhat it is unlikely that his back pain and neck pain will improve substantially, even with surgery…
[76]         There is merit in both submissions made by counsel.  Mr. Tabet’s physical and emotional suffering is significant and his overall enjoyment of life has been seriously compromised.  Nevertheless, he has pushed himself hard and his work regimen reflects both a choice on his part and stoicism.  Taking into account all of the facts summarised above, I conclude that an award of $100,000 in non-pecuniary damages is appropriate in all of the circumstances of the case.

bc injury law, disc herniation, L4-5 Injury, L5-S1 Disc Herniation, Madam Justice Dickson, Tabet v. Hatzis

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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