$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:
 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…
 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…
 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