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$95,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic, Partly Disabling Headaches

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Duncan Registry, assessing damages for chronic headaches following a collision.
In today’s case (Thomson v. Thiessen) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2012 collision.  The crash resulted in chronic neck pain and headaches which at time were severe enough to cause disability.  The prognosis for full recovery was poor.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $95,000 Madam Justice MacKenzie provided the following reasons:

[50]         While I am guided by these various authorities, every case is different and must be decided on its own particular circumstances. In the present case I accept that Mr. Thomson continues to suffer from mild to moderate, and on occasion, severe headaches as a result of the motor vehicle accident on November 3, 2012. I also accept that, depending on how much he exercises and how he conducts himself when working on his computer, his headaches will affect to a certain degree his enjoyment of life in the future, and according to the medical evidence, this could be long lasting. At the same time, as confirmed by Dr. Robinson, Mr. Thomson does not suffer from throbbing migraine headaches. In fact Mr. Thomson clearly stated that when he does have a headache or feels one is about to occur, he takes two Ibuprofen and sleeps for a couple of hours, feeling better in due course. While this is certainly a significant interruption to his enjoyment of life, relief is relatively straightforward, even though not long lasting, depending on his daily activities.

[51]         Considering the totality of the circumstances, all the factors outlined in Stapley, the positions advanced by both parties and the various authorities counsel have provided, I am satisfied that a reasonable and fair award for non-pecuniary damages is $95,000.

Madam Justice MacKenzie, Thomson v. Thiessen