$90,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic PTSD

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic psychological difficulties which arose as a result of a collision.
In last week’s case (Foubert v. Song) the Plaintiff was injured in 2007 collision caused by the Defendant.  The Plaintiff was 60 years old at the time and 65 years old at the time of trial.  The collision caused some soft tissue injuries which made a good recovery.  Unfortunately the collision also caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which continued to affect her at the time of trial and led to her early retirement.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $90,000 Mr. Justice Punnett provided the following reasons:

[107] The evidence of the plaintiff’s co-workers, son and friends indicates that the plaintiff, prior to the accident, was a high energy and enthusiastic teacher and that those traits carried through into her day to day life. They have all had the opportunity to observe and deal with her both before and after the accident.

[108] I am satisfied that as a result of the accident the plaintiff has gone from an independent, energetic teacher with an active and varied social life to an individual who is no longer able to work as a teacher, particularly of young children, who can no longer tolerate large groups nor the over stimulation of a variety of social situations. Her intention to keep working past 65 years of age has been thwarted as a result of this motor vehicle accident.

[109] Given the age of the plaintiff and the fact that it is now 5 years after the accident I am satisfied that the plaintiff while having recovered from the soft tissue injuries and to a certain extent from the PTSD has not, as noted by Dr. Shane completely recovered. Her present and future level of recovery is evidenced by Dr. Shane’s opinion that her status occupationally is unlikely to change and that she remains unable to return to teaching art.

[110] Having observed the plaintiff, her evidence of the effect of the accident and the corroborating evidence of the lay witnesses, as well as the medical evidence, I am satisfied that the plaintiff will not return to employment.

[111] Taking into account the evidence in this case as well as the authorities cited I am satisfied that an appropriate award for pain and suffering and a modest amount for loss of housekeeping is $90,000.

[112] Given my findings with respect to the pre-accident complaints there shall be no reduction for them.

bc injury law, Foubert v. Song. PTSD, Mr. Justice Punnett, post traumatic stress disorder

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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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