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$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Grade II Soft Tissue Injury

Adding to this site’s archived posts documenting BC soft tissue injury non-pecuniary assessments, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, dealing with a chronic Grade II Whiplash Injury.
In this week’s case (Strazza v. Ryder) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2009 rear-end collision.  He suffered soft tissue damage to his neck and mid back.  His symptoms of pain, while “not debilitating” continued to the time of trial and caused him to reduce or modify his daily activities   His symptoms were expected to linger into the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Madam Justice Adair provided the following reasons:
[67]         Mr. Strazza himself reports that he continues to experience pain.  It is not debilitating, and Mr. Strazza has not claimed that it is.  It has not prevented him from working or doing household chores or working on his car.  As Mr. Strazza describes it, he can basically do everything he did before the accident, but with pain.  Mr. Strazza describes his situation as one where he works and carries on despite his pain symptoms, which he does his best to alleviate by taking over-the-counter medications or by calling on someone to help.  As a result of his pain symptoms, Mr. Strazza has modified some of his activities, both leisure and work-related, since the accident.  Friends – Ms. Miller and Ms. Goalder – gave evidence of their observations in this respect, and their evidence supported Mr. Strazza’s.  The changes in Mr. Strazza are not drastic, but they are changes nevertheless…
[72]         More generally, I found Mr. Strazza to be forthright and a credible witness.  He spoke plainly and did not exaggerate.  He had no difficulty and no hesitation conceding points that were not necessarily in his favour, for example, that working for Madill was just not for him.  On cross-examination, Mr. Strazza was the opposite of defensive or argumentative, which allowed the cross-examination (by very experienced counsel) to proceed smoothly and efficiently.
[73]         I therefore find that, as a result of the accident, Mr. Strazza sustained soft tissue injuries to his cervical spine and his thoracic spine.  Specifically, and as set out in Dr. MacKean’s February 8, 2012 report, I find that Mr. Strazza sustained a grade II whiplash associated disorder in the cervical spine, which (as of trial) was resolving and a grade II whiplash associated disorder in his thoracic spine with residual pain and muscle spasm involving the left mid to lower thoracic region.  Based on Mr. Strazza’s evidence (supported by the evidence from Ms. Miller and Ms. Goalder), he continues to experience some pain as a result of his injuries.  I therefore find, based on this evidence and the opinion evidence from Dr. MacKean, that Mr. Strazza’s pain symptoms will probably not resolve completely, although they can be improved with a regular exercise program and pain relief can be obtained through occasional use of over-the-counter medication…
[81]         Taking into account Mr. Strazza’s age, the effect of Mr. Strazza’s injuries on his day-to-day activities and on his lifestyle in general, including on his career goals, Dr. MacKean’s prognosis that the pain is unlikely to resolve completely, and the cases that have been cited to me, I assess Mr. Strazza’s non-pecuniary damages at $60,000.

bc injury law, Grade 2 Whiplash Associated Disorders, Madam Justice Adair, Strazza v. Ryder