$30,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Meralgia Paresthetica With Good Prognosis

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for right leg numbness following a motor vehicle collision.
In today’s case (Saopaseuth v. Phavongkham) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2011 rear end collision.  The Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries which recovered within 10 weeks.  Several weeks later the Plaintiff started experiencing numbness in his right leg which was diagnosed as meralgia paresthetica.  Given the time lapse of onset of symptoms the trial largely focused on whether these were related to the crash and ultimately the Court concluded they were.   The symptoms had a favorable prognosis for full recovery and in assessing non-pecuniary damages at $30,000 Mr. Justice Bernard provided the following reasons:
[56]         Mr. Saopaseuth is a 50-year old single man, with no dependents, who, immediately following the MVA, suffered from acute pain and discomfort in his chest, neck and back. He responded well to physiotherapy and these injuries resolved within eight-to-ten weeks. In this relatively short period he took time away from work and managed his household with some assistance from his friends. Mr. Saopaseuth leads a relatively simple and quiet life.  There is no evidence that these injuries caused great personal suffering or had a dramatically negative impact upon his lifestyle and relationships.
[57]         Mr. Saopaseuth began to suffer from MP in his right leg in or about early May 2011; since then it has persisted. The MP has been an irritant and a worry in this protracted period; however, there is no evidence that it has significantly affected his lifestyle or his relationships.
[58]         Significantly, since early 2014 Mr. Saopaseuth has experienced considerable amelioration of his MP, and Dr. Armstrong was pleased to learn of it. It is consistent with Dr. Armstrong’s opinion that Mr. Saopaseuth’s condition is treatable with rehabilitative therapy, although Mr. Saopaseuth has yet to be treated specifically for SPRD…
[60]         Each of the aforementioned cases is, in material aspects, distinguishable from the instant case; nonetheless, they offer a helpful guideline for the assessment of Mr. Saopaseuth’s damages. Taking into account the nature and duration of Mr. Saopaseuth’s various injuries, the relatively modest impact they have had upon him, his relationships, and his lifestyle, and his very favourable prospects for either significant improvement or full recovery from his MP, I assess his non-pecuniary damages at $30,000.
 

bc injury law, leg numbness, meralgia paresthetica, Mr. Justice Bernard, Saopaseuth v. Phavongkham

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ERIK
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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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