$48,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for C5-6 Disc Herniation
Adding to this site’s archived case summaries addressing C5/6 disc injuries, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Kamloops Registry, addressing such an injury.
In this week’s case (Levens v. Lehman) the Plaintiff was injured in a rear end collision. She had pre-existing neck and back pain. The collision caused a herniated disc which remained symptomatic at the time of trial and had a 50% likelihood of needing future surgical intervention. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $48,000 Madam Justice Hyslop provided the following reasons:
 I have concluded, based on all of the medical evidence and the evidence of Ms. Levens, that as a result of the accident Ms. Levens suffered a herniated disk as seen in the MRI ordered by Dr. Singh in 2011.
 I also conclude that Ms. Levens, due to her pre-existing condition, was more susceptible to a disk herniation as a result of the degenerative changes in her cervical spine.
 I further conclude that Ms. Levens’ back injury was due to myofascial pain which put her into the hospital in November of 2009. Ms. Levens has spinal stenosis in her back unrelated to the accident which was aggravated by the accident. As a result of the accident, I conclude, for about a year, Ms. Levens had additional pain that she would not have had but for the accident…
 At the time of the accident, Ms. Levens was 65 years old and at the time of the trial was age 69. Her most significant injury is the disc herniation in her neck. The pain has been severe. The myofascial pain and arthritis in her back would have been ongoing and not related to the accident. The motor vehicle accident caused increased pain which landed her in the hospital.
 She is disabled as she does not always have a full ROM in her neck. She has been unable to engage in some of her recreational and sporting activities that she engaged in prior to the accident.
 In coming to the amount of her non-pecuniary damages, I take into consideration that Ms. Levens had a pre-existing condition in her neck which was described by Dr. Singh as “the car accident did cause the final blow to the patient’s disc bulging at a spot that was already weak and had some problems previously.”
 I award the plaintiff $48,000.00 in non-pecuniary damages.