$140,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Back and Ankle Injury
Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic back and ankle injury sustained in a vehicle collision.
In today’s case (Lensu v. Victorio) the Defendant was operating a vehicle and ran over the plaintiff’s foot as he was exiting a pakrade. The Court found the Defendant 75% liable for the incident with the plaintiff shouldering 25% of the blame.
The incident led to chronic back and ankle difficulties with a poor prognosis. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $140,000 Madam Justice DeWitt-Van Oosten provided the following reasons:
 Applying these factors, the plaintiff is 62 and was only in the second year of retirement when the accident occurred. She led a physically active and independent life, including numerous outdoor and sports-related activities, as well as international travel. These activities formed an integral part of her personal fitness regime, family life and social relationships. She took pleasure in them. She was an avid skier; could play ping-pong for long periods; she hiked challenging trails; rode horses; and could sit through the entirety of her granddaughter’s piano practice. Others found it difficult to keep up with her.
 The plaintiff looked forward to a retirement of high-energy output. From her perspective, these years also presented an ideal opportunity to learn and try new things (such as sailing). She was excited about the prospect.
 There is no question that the injuries to her left ankle, foot and lower back have profoundly affected the plaintiff’s life. She experiences daily pain; is unable to do many of the things she previously did; her mobility and endurance have been reduced; and she has decided she must sell her condominium, a place she has lived in for ten years and enjoys. Overall, the situation has led to feelings of dependency, helplessness and decreased enjoyment in life. There are still things she can do, including travel. She does them and tries to persevere. However, it is not the same. The plaintiff’s frustration with her current situation was obvious from her testimony. She presents as proud and stoic. However, her physical discomfort was readily apparent from the way in which she held and moved her body while testifying. Moreover, it was obvious to me that she genuinely misses, and longs for, her prior independence and strength.
 No medical intervention is likely to alleviate the plaintiff’s condition. The prognosis for improvement is poor. The lifestyle the plaintiff planned for herself post-retirement is forever diminished…
 Having regard to these decisions, as well as the cases referenced in Rizzolo at paras. 32–37, I consider a non-pecuniary award of $140,000 to be appropriate in the circumstances of this case.