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$60,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Shoulder Injury With Favourable Prognosis

Adding to this site’s database of cases dealing with ICBC shoulder injury cases, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Campbell River Registry, addressing such an injury.
In this week’s case (Proctor-McLeod v. Clarke) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 rear end collision.  The 51 year old plaintiff suffered a variety of soft tissue injury including a chronic shoulder injury which continued to pose problems at the time of trial.  Despite the chronic nature of her symptoms the ultimate prognosis was a favourable recovery.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Mr. Justice Armstrong provided the following reasons:
[67]         The onset of the plaintiff’s shoulder symptoms was brought on by the defendant’s negligence. The medical opinions suggest that these symptoms may have never appeared if the plaintiff was not injured in the accident. Dr. Hawkins did not explain to my satisfaction why he believed that the shoulder pain would have become symptomatic if the plaintiff had not been injured. In my view, the accident was part of the cause of the plaintiff’s ongoing complaints. Common sense dictates that there is a causal connection due to the uninterrupted continuation of these symptoms, albeit on an intermittent basis.
[68]         I accept Dr. Hawkins’ opinion that further treatments might result in a resolution of her shoulder symptoms and that her soft tissues have improved significantly. The plaintiff has been suffering from the after effects of the calcium deposits and friction in the coracoacromial arch in her shoulder. The plaintiff’s continued pain from flare ups would not have happened but for the accident. Although she made a good recovery from her other injuries, there is persisting pain developing intermittently in her neck and radiating to her left arm. This causes her pain levels to rise from a daily level of three out ten to six or seven out of ten. These estimates are of limited use; however they do give a subjective measure of the plaintiff’s perception of her condition during flare ups of symptoms.
[69]         I conclude that the plaintiff’s symptoms will likely resolve over time….
[93]         … I have assessed the plaintiff’s loss at $60,000 for non-pecuniary damages.

bc injury law, Mr. Justice Armstrong, Proctor-McLeod v. Clarke