$110,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Likely Permanent Chronic Pain Syndrome
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Chilliwack Registry, assessing damages for a collision caused chronic pain syndrome.
In today’s case (Beaton v. Perkes) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2012 rear end collision the Defendant admitted fault for. The Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries and related headaches. Her symptoms persisted and unfortunately developed into a chronic pain syndrome which had a poor prognosis. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $110,000 Mr. Justice Voith provided the following findings and reasons:
 There is consensus on the nature, severity and prognosis for most of the injuries Ms. Beaton suffered in the Accident. There is also agreement that these injuries were caused by the Accident. This consensus is found in the two expert reports of Dr. Loewen, as well as in the expert reports of each of Dr. Grover and Dr. Pisesky. Drs. Grover and Pisesky are orthopedic surgeons who did independent medical examinations of Ms. Beaton on behalf of the plaintiff and the defendants respectively.
 These various issues and conclusions are sufficiently straightforward that the cross-examinations of Drs. Loewen and Grover, on these matters, were limited. Dr. Pisesky’s report was filed without his being called for cross-examination.
 Ms. Beaton has been assessed and diagnosed with soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper and mid-back. She has also been diagnosed with cervicogenic headaches. She struggles with serious and ongoing disruptions to her sleep. She is often awake three or four times a night and some evenings she only sleeps for two to four hours.
 There has been no meaningful improvement in these various symptoms and, indeed, Ms. Beaton considers that some of them have worsened over time. I accept that evidence.
 Ms. Beaton has, as recommended, attended at numerous massage and physiotherapy treatments. She has tried trigger point injections. She has attended a work hardening program. There was no suggestion that her efforts were not earnest.
 Each of the experts I have referred to accepts that Ms. Beaton now struggles with chronic pain syndrome. They provided the following opinions on her prognosis:
(a) Dr. Grover opined that Ms. Beaton will “continue to have some degree of chronic pain which is highly likely to persist permanently”.
(b) Dr. Loewen said: “Based on my experience treating other patients with similar conditions, I would expect that Mrs. Beaton will have ongoing chronic back pain extending from her neck all the way to her lumbar spine. She may make some small further gains but I would expect most of her symptomology with which she currently struggles to persist long-term. Also of note, due to the injuries sustained in her neck and back, all of which are soft tissue in nature, it is possible that she may be susceptible to injuries with lower amounts of trauma in the future.”
(c) Dr. Pisesky said: “in terms of overall progress it is my opinion that she … had plateaued in terms of recovery approximately 6 months post injury and therefore her prognosis for any significant improvement of either pain or function is guarded”…
 In the result, I consider that an award of $110,000 fairly compensates Ms. Beaton for her non-pecuniary losses.