$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries and Headaches

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries.
In this week’s case (Lewis v. Scheer) the plaintiff was involved in a “significant” collision in 2010. The Defendant admitted liability. The collision caused various soft tissue injuries and headaches which lingered at the time of trial.  The Plaintiff had some pre-existing symptoms which left her susceptible  to developing chronic pain.  Her symptoms were expected to carry into the future with optimism that they can be reduced with weight loss and exercise.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $70,000 Mr. Justice Funt provided the following reasons:
[9]             In general terms, the plaintiff’s injuries involve her back, spine, shoulders and neck.  She has daily headaches and has chronic pain…
[18]         The three doctors were in general agreement that the plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms of daily headaches and pain affecting her neck, chest, shoulders and spine were caused by the MVA.  Dr. Travlos noted in his November 14, 2011 report that the plaintiff “was likely vulnerable to injury and the development of more chronic symptoms, given some of the pre-accident complaints she had”…
[22]         The medical evidence recognizes that the pain will be ongoing although it may reduce as a result of the recommended steps to be taken.  These steps include losing weight, a focus on functionality and not on pain, a regimen of exercise and activity, and the reduction of the medication the plaintiff is currently taking…
[35]         As noted, the plaintiff will have ongoing pain.  The focus for the future is on improving function.  In particular, the pain has affected and will affect her enjoyment of life, family and social relationships, and lifestyle.  The Court will award $70,000 inclusive of housekeeping capacity.  The plaintiff will be able to perform housekeeping functions, albeit with degrees of pain depending on the particular activity.

bc injury law, Lewis v. Scheer, Mr. Justice Funt


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Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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