$1.1 Million Awarded for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with Poor Prognosis

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court awarding $1,186,425 to a Plaintiff who sustained a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) in a British Columbia car collision.  The reasons for judgement were lengthy and consisted of over 400 paragraphs.  This decision is worth reading for anyone advancing an ICBC brain injury claim for some insight into how complex some of the trial issues can be.
The court made the following findings with respect to the Plaintiff’s injuries and prognosis:

(a)        Diagnosis

[275]        Ms. Towson suffered a moderate to severe injury to her neck and back in the October 2002 accident.

[276]        Some of the evidence focused on whether Ms. Towson’s complaints arose from a traumatic brain injury, or from chronic insomnia and ongoing chronic pain.  Whether Ms. Towson’s symptoms arose from a traumatic brain injury in the October 2002 accident or from the chronic pain it caused, which led to the significant weight gain and the chronic insomnia, the symptoms were caused by the October 2002 accident.

[277]        On the question of diagnosis, I prefer the evidence of Drs. Ancill, Krywaniuk, Knazan, Neumann and Feldman over the evidence of Dr. Tomita.  Dr. Ancill has almost four times as many years of experience as Dr. Tomita in the practice of psychiatry.  Dr. Ancill treated Ms. Towson, and saw her 13 times over almost four years.  Dr. Tomita’s opinion was significantly based on his interpretation of Dr. Ancill’s records as demonstrating that Ms. Towson had recovered.  Dr. Ancill did not interpret his own records that way. 

[278]        The weight of the evidence establishes that Ms. Towson suffered a traumatic brain injury, resulting in post-concussion syndrome.  This has resulted in problems with concentration and memory, sensitivity to noise, anxiety and fatigue.  She has chronic pain in the left neck, left shoulder and arm area, and periodic headaches.  Her symptoms are so severe that she is not presently able to work.  She is at risk of further episodes of depression.

(b)       Prognosis

[279]        The question of Ms. Towson’s prognosis is also difficult.  She has made a serious effort to improve, and has been treated with medication, physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractory, and psychotherapy.  Despite that, significant symptoms have persisted for six years. 

[280]        In these circumstances, Ms. Towson’s chances of returning to her pre-accident state, or of becoming employable, are poor.  There is room for some hope, through continuing psychotherapy, that she will improve.  There is a small chance that she will improve to the degree that she will be employable.

Damages were awarded as follows:

[400]        Ms. Towson is entitled to judgment against MPS for $1,186,425, consisting of non-pecuniary damages of $185,000, past wage loss of $66,075, $725,000 for her lost future earning capacity, $4,200 for her lost opportunity to purchase the townhouse, $76,000 for the cost of future care, special damages of $10,000, and $120,150 for management fees.  She is also entitled to the applicable pre-judgment interest.

BC Car accident claims, ICBC Brain Injury Cases, ICBC damages, towson v. bergman, towson v. ICBC

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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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