$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages For Chronic Pain Following Three Collisions

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing fault and damages following a series of collisions.
In today’s case (Shinzay v. McKee) the Plaintiff was involved in three collisions.   The Defendants were found liable for each of these.  The Plaintiff suffered chronic soft tissue injuries which persisted to the time of trial and resulted in chronic pain symptoms which were expected to need continued management.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Madam Justice Sharma provided the following reasons:

[93]         Based on all of the above, I make the following findings on the balance of probabilities:

a.               Mr. Shinzay continues to suffer pain that affects, but does not disable him;

b.               Mr. Shinzay will more likely than not require physiotherapy, massage therapy, and pain medication in the future to manage flare-ups of his pain;

c.               Mr. Shinzay needs to follow a conditioning program which will improve his pain management;

d.               Mr. Shinzay had a degenerative spinal condition that pre-existed the First Accident;

e.               The accidents caused Mr. Shinzay to suffer soft tissue injuries; and

f.                The accidents materially contributed to his pain because it trigged his pre-existing spinal degeneration to become symptomatic.

[98]         As already noted, I find Mr. Shinzay has not exaggerated his symptoms. His resilience for work should not be mistaken for a sign that his injuries were mild. In particular, the Second and Third Accidents required emergency personnel to extract him and he was taken away on a stretcher.

[99]         Overall, I find that Mr. Shinzay’s circumstances justify an award at the moderate level of the appropriate range. Among the cases referred to me, I discuss below the most helpful ones because of the similarity of some of the facts or circumstances to this case. These cases identify a range of $60,000 (the defendants’ assessment) to $90,000 (the plaintiff proposed $100,000)..

[100]     In these circumstances, I find $75,000 to be an appropriate award.

bc injury law, Madam Justice Sharma, onset of symptoms in pre-existing condition, Shinzay v. McKee

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

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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