$95,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Meniscal and Labral Tear

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for a chronic knee and shoulder injury.
In today’s case (Hart v. Hansma) the Plaintiff was involved in two collisions.  The Defendants admitted fault for both.  The Plaintiff suffered a variety of injuries including a torn meniscus, a labral tear and a variety of soft tissue injuries.  These continued to post problems at the time of trial with a poor prognosis.
In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $95,000 Mr. Justice Verhoeven provided the following reasons:
[54]         I find that the most significant injuries suffered by the plaintiff in the accidents are as follows:
1.     soft tissue injuries to his neck, particularly the right side, resulting in chronic neck pain;

  1. chronic headaches, associated with the neck pain;

3.     right shoulder injury, including a labral tear and tendonitis with a partial rotator cuff tear; and
4.     left knee injury, including a meniscus tear.
The foregoing injuries continue to cause significant ongoing pain and disability currently.
[55]         I find that the plaintiff also suffered from the following, less serious injuries sustained in the accidents:
1.     right upper limp numbness and pain;
2.     low back injury, and associated pain (that is not presently bothering him) in the right hip and buttock area;
3.     right knee pain (although it is now substantially resolved); and
4.     left hip pain (although it is now substantially resolved)….
[65]         The prognosis for full recovery is negative.  It is unlikely that his neck injury will ever fully recover.  There is a risk that his neck condition will deteriorate to the point where cervical discectomy surgery will be required.  The headaches he suffers from are related to his neck injury.  The plaintiff finds that treatment such as acupuncture, physiotherapy and the prolotherapy provide short term relief for his neck pain and headaches.  He takes a variety of medications in order to allow him to cope.  The planned knee surgery may provide some benefit for his left knee pain, but may have long term negative consequences, such as the risk of osteoarthritis. His shoulder condition is also chronic.  The plaintiff has the choice of enduring the pain and limitation of function in his shoulder, or undergoing surgery which may offer some benefit…
]         Taking into account the factors in Gillam as they apply to Mr. Hart’s circumstances, and the above awards in Prince-Wright, Hanson, Steward, and the cases cited by the defendants, adjusting for inflation, I find that an award of $95,000 is appropriate in this case.
 

bc injury law, Hart v Hansma, labral tear, meniscus injury, Mr. Justice Verhoeven

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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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