$40,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Bicep Tendon and Soft Tissue Injuries

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a bicep tendon injury along with some soft tissue damage.
In today’s case (Pavan v. Guolo) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2010 T-bone collision caused by the Defendant.  The Plaintiff suffered a strain to the tendons in his right bicep along with soft tissue injuries to his shoulder and low back.  The Plaintiff missed little time from work but some of his symptoms persisted at the time of trial albeit not significantly.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $40,000 Mr. Justice Butler provided the following reasons:

[21]         Counsel for both parties provided detailed written argument to explain why I should accept their positions regarding the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries and the duration of the symptoms. I thank them for the thorough and detailed argument. I much prefer the defendants’ approach to the assessment of causation and analysis of the evidence. In other words, it is preferable to consider the three symptomatic areas separately and assess the development of symptoms in light of all of the evidence including the limited medical evidence. When I do that, I make the following findings of fact regarding injuries and the duration of symptoms:

1)       Right Arm:  The plaintiff suffered a strain to tendons in his right biceps. That injury has improved significantly over time, but has not resolved and will likely not do so. However, it is not disabling and does not significantly impact the plaintiff’s activities. It still causes the plaintiff momentary discomfort when he performs certain activities.

2)       Right Shoulder:  The plaintiff suffered a grade 2 strain to his neck, upper back and right shoulder. This was the most serious injury sustained in the accident. That injury substantially resolved within about 18 months of the accident. The accident left the shoulder susceptible to what the plaintiff calls flare-ups or aggravations. The plaintiff does not have ongoing persistent pain or discomfort. His occasional flare-ups do not last for long and are not disabling.

3)       Low Back:  The plaintiff suffered a very mild low back strain in the accident. That injury resolved in a few months. The incidents of low back pain suffered by the plaintiff since that time are unrelated to the injuries suffered in the accident.

[45]         Of course, the appropriate award for non-pecuniary loss must take into account, all of the particular circumstances of the plaintiff before the court. The cases cited by counsel were helpful as a guide. I do not propose to examine and compare those cases with the facts I have found here. I will note that the cases relied on by the defendants involved circumstances that are somewhat closer to the facts I have found with regard to the nature of the soft tissue injuries with an exception. I have concluded that the plaintiff has ongoing difficulties with his right arm, albeit relatively minor, and that his right shoulder can still have flare-ups, which are contributed to by the injuries suffered in the accident. Further, the cases cited by the defendants are somewhat dated.

[46]         When I consider all of the relevant factors in light of the facts I have found, I conclude that a fair award for non-pecuniary damages is $40,000.

bc injury law, bicep tendon injury, Mr. Justice Butler, Pavan v. Guolo

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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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