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$55,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Headaches Secondary To Neck Injury

Adding to this site’s archived caselaw addressing damages for headaches, reasons for judgment were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Prince George Registry, dealing with such an injury.
In this week’s case (Rutledge v. Jimmie) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2011 collision in Quesnel.  The Defendant was found fully at fault.  The Plaintiff suffered a neck injury which caused secondary headaches which continued at the time of trial and were expected to linger into the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $55,000 Mr. Justice Tindale provided the following reasons:
100]     The plaintiff, based on the preponderance of evidence, has clearly established that the motor vehicle accident caused him to have chronic post- traumatic headaches related to a neck injury.
[101]     This injury has caused significant changes to his lifestyle, particularly to his passion for powerlifting. He has also had to modify his lifestyle with regard to recreational activities, activities at home and some of his activities at work. I am mindful that the plaintiff did not miss any employment as a result of this accident; however, I also accept that he is a stoic individual and persevered in his employment…
[103]     Dr. Robinson opined that despite the success of the Botox treatment, the plaintiff’s headaches may continue to linger for many years to come although at a lower frequency and severity than the plaintiff is experiencing now.
[104]     The majority of the cases relied on by the plaintiff have fact patterns which are far more serious than the case at bar. Likewise, the cases relied on by the third party do not appropriately address the significant lifestyle changes and pain suffered by the plaintiff.
[105]     In my view the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $55,000.

bc injury law, Mr. Justice Tindale, Rutledge v. Jimmie