Skip to main content

$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 for persistent soft tissue injuries.

In today’s case (Stapleton v. Andrew) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2015 intersection collision.  The Defendant accepted fault.  The crash caused soft tissue injuries which lingered to the time of trial and were not expected to experience significant improvement in the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Skolrood provided the following reasons:

[59]         I find that as a result of the Accident, the plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck and shoulder blade area and her mid and lower back, primarily on the right side. The symptoms relating to these injuries have persisted in the 4 years since the Accident. The medical evidence indicates that the plaintiff is unlikely to experience significant improvement in the future. The plaintiff also testified about some driving anxiety that she has experienced since the Accident and also about some sleep problems. However, on her own evidence, she has not sought treatment for these conditions and neither has seriously affected her lifestyle or employment capacity.

[60]         I am satisfied that the plaintiff’s injuries impede her ability to work in her chosen profession as a chef. In particular, she cannot performed sustained activities that involve bending or stooping, such as chopping, kneading and whisking, all of which are common food preparation activities. She is also limited in her ability to lift heavy objects, again something that is common to kitchen work.

[61]         The injuries have also had some impact on the plaintiff’s personal and recreational activities, although the extent of that interference was not well developed in the evidence. I accept that she engages in some activities less frequently, for example snow boarding and wakeboarding, but I am not satisfied that these were activities that were central to her, as opposed to things that she did from time to time, particularly in recent years when she has been working. I note that she has continued to be active in terms of travel and exercise, including participating in the intensive eight week program as well as completing a half marathon. That said, I accept that she experienced pain, stiffness and discomfort from these activities…

[68]         Having considered the evidence, the submissions and authorities advanced by counsel, and the relevant factors as set out in cases like Stapley, including the specific factors referred to above, I find that an appropriate award of non-pecuniary damages is $75,000.

Mr. Justice Skolrood, soft tissue injuries, Stapleton v. Andrew