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$28,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages Assessment for Patellofemoral Pain

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for an accident related knee injury.
In this week’s case (Battagliola v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp.) the Plaintiff was shopping in Wal-Mart in 2005 when a metal shelf struck her right knee.  Wal-Mart accepted that they were liable for the incident leaving only quantum of damages (value of the claim) at issue.
The Plaintiff suffered pain and discomfort in her knee following the incident and was diagnosed with patellofemoral pain (knee joint pain).  The symptoms lasted up until the time of trial but were expected to “slowly resolve over time“.
The Court accepted the injury was caused by the incident although expressed concerns that “the negative impacts are not quite as debilitating as asserted” and further that the Plaintiff’s “current limitations are not as severe as her personal account suggests“.  Non-Pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) were assessed at $28,000.  In reaching this assessment Mr. Justice Masuhara provided the following reasons:
[19] Dr. Pisesky opined in his report that Ms. Battagliola suffers from patellofemoral syndrome of the right knee and that the pain associated was brought about directly by the contusion to her right knee on February 15, 2005….
[22] He opined that Ms. Battagliola “will likely have some degree of discomfort in [her right] leg and findings associated with this of patellofemoral irritation indefinitely.” …
[25] The report of Dr. White concluded that upon his examination, Ms. Battagliola “probably had a blow and bruise to the right patella area in the indeterminate past.”  Based on the information he had as of the date of his report, he stated that Ms. Battagliola’s knee injury “should slowly resolve over time but may take a while yet.”…
[33] In considering the circumstances of this case, the age of Ms. Battagliola; the period of time over which her condition has continued; the medical evidence of Dr. Pisesky that symptoms will continue on indefinitely but that they can be controlled to a certain extent by his recommendations and that there should be a noticeable benefit with orthotics; and my finding that her pain is not as debilitating as indicated in the plaintiff’s case, I assess non-pecuniary damages as $28,000.

Battagliola v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., bc injury law, Knee Joint Pain, Mr. Justice Masuhara, Patellafemoral Pain