$80,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for TFC Tear Reqiring Surgery

Adding to this site’s archives of non-pecuniary judgments for wrist injuries, reasons for judgment were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a TFC tear.
In this week’s case (Burtwell v. McCarrrey) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2009 rear end collision.  She sustained a TFC tear which required surgical intervention. In addition to this she suffered from various soft tissue injuries which continued to post problems at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $80,000 Madam Justice Fisher provided the following reasons:
[42]         I am satisfied that the plaintiff has proved that she suffered the following injuries as a result of the accident of January 20, 2009: (1) TFCC tear in the right wrist and aggravation of arthritis in the right CMC joint; (2) strain and tendonitis in the right shoulder; (3) soft tissue injuries to the neck and upper back; and (4) some depression and anxiety…
[51]         In summary, the TFCC tear caused considerable pain but was substantially resolved within 18 months of the accident, leaving an ongoing loss of strength and mild restriction in flexion; the CMC joint arthritis continues to be painful, will likely progress, and limits the use of the right hand; the shoulder injury also caused considerable pain for over three years, was significantly resolved by May 2012 and there is a good possibility for a more complete recovery by about January 2014 (four years post-accident); the neck and back pain resolved within four months and continues to flare up but will likely improve once Ms. Burtwell engages in a reconditioning program; and the depression is well controlled with medication and is likely to improve with additional counselling, after which medication may no longer be necessary…
[57]         It is always difficult to apply the facts of one case to another, as no two cases are really alike. In general, the awards at the $90,000 to $100,000 level were for injuries that had more serious long term effects than the injuries I have found Ms. Burtwell to have suffered, and the awards at the lower level were for similar injuries that had less impact. In my view, an appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages in this case, taking into account Ms. Burtwell’s pre-existing conditions, is $80,000.

bc injury law, CMC joint injury, Madam Justice Fisher, TFC tear

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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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