$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Damages Awarded in TOS Case
Reasons for judgement were released today (Cimino v. Kwit) by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, awarding damages for injuries and loss as a result of a 2006 BC rear end car crash.
One of the main issues at trial was whether the Plaintiff suffered from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) as a result of the crash. Madam Justice Dillon found that the Plaintiff indeed suffered a traumatic TOS as a result of this crash and in assessing the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) summarized the Plaintiff’s injuries and effects on her life as follows:
 I accept that the plaintiff has and continues to suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome as a result of the accident and that the plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms related to pain in the right arm and hand relate to this syndrome. Whether the effect of this condition is small, as concluded by Dr. Keyes, or so significant as to disable the plaintiff from work as a certified dental assistant, as stated by Dr. Salvian, can best be determined by inclusion of considerations of the plaintiff’s daily need for significant pain medication, her work history since the accident, and the opinion of the vocation consultant that the plaintiff is competitively employable as a dental assistant, with subtle relatively mild limitations. On balance, I conclude that the plaintiff has permanent ongoing disability of such a significant degree as to require her to take daily multiple pain medications in order to achieve personal and work functionality. Surgery for her condition is not an option. The plaintiff has difficulty sleeping after a bad day, a situation that accumulates as the work days progress with continued use of the plaintiff’s dominant right arm and hand…
 In this case, the plaintiff has demonstrated that she is able to work and participate is some recreational activities and family life. However, the culture within the family changed dramatically after the accident as the plaintiff could no longer perform all of the household activities and her sons and husband took on new roles. She suffers from thoracic outlet syndrome as a result of the accident, but does not have other recurring problems from the accident. This distinguishes her from cases where the gravamen of multiple injuries along with the syndrome results in the highest awards. While the plaintiff has certainly suffered loss of enjoyment of life, emotional suffering, and must face the daunting prospect of permanent daily pain, she has not lost the ability to work or her basic lifestyle.
 Non-pecuniary damages are awarded in the amount of $85,000.