$55,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic But Not Disabling Neck and Shoulder Injury
Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries sustained in a collision.
In today’s case (Young v. Shao) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2013 rear-end collision. The Defendant admitted fault. The crash resulted in chronic but non-disabling soft tissue injuries with a poor prognosis for full recovery. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $55,000 Madam Justice Adair provided the following reasons:
 Based on my findings above, Ms. Young will continue to have chronic pain symptoms, particularly in her neck and shoulder. As a result of the injuries she sustained, her ability to participate in her most favourite past-time – dancing – was curtailed altogether for several months. When Ms. Young’s injuries had sufficiently healed to allow her to resume dancing, she could not engage in the activity to the same extent as before the accident. Dancing has always been a very important part of Ms. Young’s lifestyle. The effects of her injuries have also made Ms. Young’s ability to work – something else that is important to her and gives meaning to her life – more difficult. Although she has never missed work, she has had to work with pain, and will have to do so indefinitely.
 On the other hand, I had no evidence that, as a result of the injuries, there was any impairment in Ms. Young’s family or social relationships. Indeed, only Ms. Young testified about how her life was affected. I did not hear from any friends, family members or co-workers. This was a significant feature of at least two of the cases cited by Mr. Vondette, which is not present here.
 In view of my findings above, and taking into account the factors mentioned in Stapley (including Ms. Young’s age and stage of life) and the cases cited to me in argument, I conclude that a fair and reasonable award of non-pecuniary damages is $55,000.