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$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages Assessment for Chronic Shoulder Tendonitis

Reasons for judgement were released earlier this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, awarding damages for injuries and loss flowing from a BC motor vehicle collision.
In this week’s case (Garcha v. Duenas) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2007 collision.  He was a passenger in a truck which was struck when the Defendant “made a sudden left hand turn across (the Plaintiff’s vehicles) path“.  Fault for the crash was admitted focusing the trial on the value of the Plaintiff’s claim.
The Plaintiff suffered various injuries, many of which recovered by the time of trial.  One injury unfortunately lingered on, specifically tendonitis in his shoulders.   This inflammation caused pain which limited the Plaintiff domestically, recreationally and vocationally.  The symptoms were not expected to improve with time.  In valuing the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) at $70,000 Madam Justice Boyd made the following findings:
[53] Dr. Parhar holds the opinion that since the accident the plaintiff has been suffering the ongoing effects of a shoulder tendonitis, that is an inflammation of the shoulder tendons, resulting from the acute trauma suffered at the time of the motor vehicle accident.  I note here that on cross examination, Dr. Tarazi also opined that the right shoulder complaints were likely related to the injuries suffered in the motor vehicle accident.  Even if the injury was related to repetitive movements, he believed that this was due to the fact that due to his injuries, the plaintiff was likely posturally over- compensating in some way, thus giving rise to the shoulder complaints.  In the absence of the motor vehicle injuries, he doubted the shoulder complaints would have arisen. ..
[58] On a review of all the evidence I am satisfied the plaintiff has proven on a balance of probabilities that his continuing complaints are legitimate and that they are indeed causally related to the injuries suffered at the time of this motor vehicle accident…
[67] Considering all of the evidence, I find that an appropriate award of general damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life is $70,000…
[78] In the end result, I am satisfied the plaintiff has proven that he is now permanently partially disabled.  Adopting the opinion of Dr. Parhar, I am satisfied that given the activation of his osteoarthritis, his condition will likely worsen over time.
For more on this topic you can click here to access my archived posts of other recent BC Court Cases assessing damages for shoulder injuries

bc injury law, Garcha v. Duenas, Madam Justice Boyd, tendonitis