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$95,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Permanent Knee Injury Likely Requiring Replacement

Adding to this site’s database addressing non-pecuniary damages for knee injuries, reasons for judgement were released recently by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing such an injury.
In the recent case (Majchrzak v. Avery) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2007 motorcycle collision when the Defendant’s vehicle failed to yield the right of way.  The Plaintiff suffered a knee injury which continue to pose problems at the time of trial and likely would need full replacement in the future. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $95,000 Madam Justice Brown provided the following reasons:
[81]         I consider the following factors relevant in this case:
(a)      Age of the plaintiff: Mr. Majchrzak was 51 years old at the time of trial. The evidence establishes that he will likely suffer some measure of pain for the remainder of his life.
(b)      Nature of the injury: Mr. Majchrzak suffered grade 2 chondromalacia and post-traumatic arthritis from the impact of the accident. His knee is permanently damaged, and it is likely that he will require knee replacement, although it is unclear when that will be. He also suffered minor injuries and bruising to his left hand and back that resolved uneventfully.
(c)      Severity and duration of pain: Almost six years post-accident, the plaintiff continues to suffer pain daily. While he has been able to work through the pain, by doing stretching exercises, icing his knee and taking medication, I have concluded that he has endured much pain doing so. Indeed, he is now retraining to work in a less physically demanding position.
(d)      Disability: The plaintiff has a permanent impairment of his physical capabilities.
(e)      Emotional suffering: Dr. Raffle and Mrs. Majchrzak both gave evidence that Mr. Majchrzak has suffered some measure of depression and anxiety caused by chronic pain and his inability to work and provide for his family.
(f)       Loss and impairment of life: Mr. Majchrzak has permanent injuries that require him to leave what he described as his “dream job”. Furthermore, many of his non-work activities, such as ballroom dancing with his wife, sports activities with his children, and maintenance of his home have been affected.
[82]         After both reviewing the authorities and considering the specific factors in this case, in my view, an appropriate award for the plaintiff is $95,000.

bc injury law, Madam Justice Brown, Majchrzak v. Avery

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