$160,000 Non-Pecunairy Assessment for a "Complicated MTBI with Residual Symptoms"

Adding to this site’s archives addressing non-pecuniary assessments for traumatic brain injury, reasons for judgement were released today addressing a “complicated MTBI with residual symptoms“.
In today’s case (Matromonaco v. Moraal) the Plaintiff pedestrian was standing on a sidewalk waiting to cross a street when the Defendant ran a red light, lost control of his vehicle, drove onto the sidewalk and struck the Plaintiff.  The Defendant was soley responsible for the crash.  The Plaintiff suffered a variety of soft tissue injuries that fully healed.  She also suffered a mild brain injury which caused continuing symptoms at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $160,000 Mr. Justice Harvey provided the following reasons:

[210]     The Plaintiff suffered a number of physical injuries which I characterize as soft tissue injuries. All healed uneventfully within a reasonably short period of time after suitable treatment by way of physiotherapy and exercise.

[211]     Her most significant injury by far is the MTBI.

[212]     I accept that this injury has caused the Plaintiff mild cognitive impairment in processing, which in turn has impacted memory, mood concentration and focus. The result, not surprisingly, is that the Plaintiff exhibits signs of depression and social isolation.

[213]     Counsel for the Plaintiff referred me to a number of authorities involving plaintiffs with injuries similar to Ms. Mastromonaco, suggesting an appropriate range for non-pecuniary damages is $150,000 to $200,000.

[214]     Specifically, I have been referred to and considered Curtis v. MacFarlane, 2014 BCSC 1138; Watkins v. Dormuth, 2014 BCSC 543 [Watkins]; Danicek v. Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang, 2010 BCSC 1111;Harrington v. Sangha, 2011 BCSC 1035 [Harrington]; Sirna v. Smolinski, 2007 BCSC 967; and Dikey v. Samieian, 2008 BCSC 604 [Dikey].

[215]     No two cases are alike. At one end of the extreme is the decision in Dikey, where the plaintiff suffered profound cognitive deficit requiring that he have daily assistance with his living requirements for the rest of his life. He also suffered significant ongoing pain. Similar findings were made in Harrington.

[216]     In terms of similarities, the Plaintiff’s present condition, attributable to the aftereffects of the accident, are as follows: irritability, anxiety brought about by stress, poor memory, concentration, distractibility, fatigue and general low mood.

[217]     While not so severe as the 32-year-old plaintiff in Watkins, the case is similar, such that it provides a useful starting point for the analysis. In Watkins, Blok J. awarded general damages of $175,000.

[218]     Unlike the plaintiff in Watkins, the Plaintiff here is not experiencing ongoing headache, problems with balance or noise intolerance. I also take into account the difference in the plaintiff’s respective ages, as Ms. Watkins was 27 years old at the time of she was injured in a car accident. Accordingly, I assess the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary loss at $160,000.

bc injury law, Complicated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Matromonaco v. Moraal, Mr. Justice Harvey

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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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