Skip to main content

$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for "Modest Soft Tissue Injuries, Knee Pain, Headaches and Anxiety"

Adding to this site’s database of BC non-pecuniary damage decisions, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for a lingering injuries from a motor vehicle collision.
In today’s case (Land v. Di Maddalena) the Plaintiff was involved in a collision when he was 8 years old.  He was 17 by the time of trial.  Fault was admitted by the offending motorist.  The Plaintiff suffered a variety of injuries including soft tissue injuries, knee pain, headaches and anxiety.  While he made a good recovery and was able to actively participate in physical sports some symptoms were expected to linger into the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $70,000 Mr. Justice MacKenzie provided the following reasons:
[116]     A fair assessment of damages is difficult in the present case because of the passage of time since the accident, the changes in symptomology over many years, the fact that Spencer is currently 17 years old and not yet fully grown or mature, the possible relationship between his present physical condition and his participation in strenuous sports such as basketball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and football, especially when Spencer told me he “likes physical contact.” The fact that the medical evidence in this case is very dated has also complicated this analysis. In these circumstances, it is no surprise the evidence and medical opinions as to Spencer’s future physical condition are somewhat equivocal. The extent to which Spencer’s present deficits will affect him in the future is difficult to predict.
[117]     With the above factors in mind, and having regard to the totality of the circumstances, I am satisfied that because of the accident, Spencer suffered modest soft tissue injuries, initial knee pain, headaches and anxiety. These have affected his lifestyle to a certain degree, but have now significantly resolved. Fortunately, they have had a relatively modest impact on his activities over the last two years. In my view, a fair and reasonable award for non-pecuniary damages is $70,000.