Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a plaintiff who suffered a host of injuries in a vehicle collision.
In today’s case (Firman v. Asadi) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2013 collision. The Defendant denied fault but was found liable at trial. The collision resulted in multiple injuries including a torn labrum, thoracic outlet syndrome, PTSD and chronic pain. Prognosis for full recovery was poor. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $170,000 Mr. Justice Verhoeven provided the following reasons:
 Based upon the abundant medical evidence as well as the evidence of the plaintiff and other evidence of the lay witnesses, I find that the plaintiff’s injuries that she attributes to the MVA and as reported to the treatment providers and medical experts were caused by the MVA.
 As noted, there is much overlap in the specific diagnoses found in the medical evidence. In more general terms, the plaintiff’s injuries sustained in the MVA are: (1) left hip injury, including torn labrum, requiring surgery; (2) TOS or thoracic outlet syndrome, requiring surgery, and with further surgery recommended; (3) whiplash injuries (myofascial pain syndrome, mechanical spine pain) and resultant chronic pain, particularly in her upper back, left shoulder, and arm; (4) left shoulder tendinopathy; (5) chronic headaches; (6) mood or psychological/psychiatric disorders, including depression, somatic symptom disorder, and anxiety.
 The defendants dispute the diagnosis of PTSD, made by Dr. Schweighofer. Dr. Iso noted PTSD “symptoms”. In the circumstances of this case, the question of whether the plaintiff fully meets the criteria for this diagnosis is of little practical consequence. Dr. Waraich noted that her symptoms meet the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD, with one exception. He states that, while a diagnosis of delayed onset PTSD could be made, in his view her PTSD symptoms are “better accounted for” by the diagnoses that he makes: depressive disorder, and somatic symptom disorder. However, he added:
…in my opinion, her future course and potential treatment of PTSD symptoms are relevant despite her not meeting full criteria for PTSD in my assessment.
 The prognosis for substantial improvement is poor…
 The evidence discloses that the plaintiff has suffered a very substantial non-pecuniary loss. She is now only marginally able to continue with her former occupations, and passions in life, fitness training and barbering. Her physical and psychological injuries as outlined previously are substantial, and likely permanent to a large extent at least. She has endured a great deal of pain and suffering, which will continue indefinitely. She has undergone two surgeries and a third surgery is likely, since it is recommended and the plaintiff says she plans to undergo it.
 Her injuries and their consequences have quite dramatically affected her former lifestyle and her personality. She was previously very physically active. She participated in marathon runs and triathlons, operated a fitness business, and engaged in a number of sporting activities. She was independent and took pride in being able to support herself and her younger daughter, who continues to be a dependant. I referred earlier to the change in her personality noted by the witnesses. She is no longer outgoing, social, energetic and happy, as she was before.
 Her homemaking capacity has been impacted. She testified that pre-accident she kept a tidy household. This is corroborated by Mr. MacDonald and her daughter. She no longer has the ability to maintain a tidy household. Now her house is messy.
 On the other hand, she is far from completely debilitated, and there is a chance her condition will improve, with appropriate treatment. Her pre-accident condition was not perfect, (in particular, she had symptomatic spinal degeneration, and headaches) and there was some risk that her conditions could have affected her detrimentally in future, as they had pre-accident. They might have worsened. …
 Having regard to the case authorities I have referred to, I assess the plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages in the amount of $170,000.
Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for a chronic hip injury sustained in a collision.
In today’s case (McCann v. Anderson) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2014 vehicle collision that the Defendant accepted fault for. The Plaintiff suffered a variety of soft tissue injuries which made full recovery. More notably he also sustained a chronic hip injury which had a poor prognosis for full recovery. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $95,000 Madam Justice Shergill provided the following reasons:
 At the time of the MVC, Mr. McCann was a physically active 54-year-old man who worked at a physically demanding job without restrictions. Though he had some problems in his low back prior to the MVC, there is no evidence that the low back pain would have continued or caused him to experience problems in the future. The impact of the October 2014 MVC was substantial, and caused him significant injuries which have continued to affect his employment and recreational activities.
 Mr. McCann recovered from his soft tissue injuries to his neck, back, left shoulder and left hip within ten months of the MVC. In addition, he suffered from anxiety and depression which are partially attributable to the MVC but from which he fully recovered after approximately one year of symptoms.
 The most significant injury is to Mr. McCann’s left hip. He has been diagnosed with an inter-articular labral tear with articular cartilage disruption. His left hip injury prevented him for returning to any form of work for approximately one-and-a-half years. During that time, Mr. McCann underwent a number of investigations and tried many different treatments to try to alleviate his pain. It was not until he underwent a PRP injection in July 2016 that Mr. McCann finally began to experience long-lasting relief from his symptoms.
 Despite having returned to work at his full-time regular duties, he continues to remain symptomatic and experiences intermittent days off work (once every four to six weeks) due to his ongoing pain from the MVC.
 Prior to the MVC, Mr. McCann participated in a number of sports and outdoor activities, and was generally in good health. Mr. McCann is no longer able to participate fully in all of his pre-MVC recreational and leisure pursuits.
 Mr. McCann’s condition plateaued by March 2018. Now, over four years later, he continues to experience ongoing pain. His prognosis for significant further clinical improvement in his left hip condition is poor….
88] After considering all of the case authorities, and having regard to the evidence and the unique circumstances in this case, I assess Mr. McCann’s non-pecuniary damages at $95,000.
Adding to this site’s archived case summaries involving hip injuries, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages of $80,000 for a chronic but tolerable hip injury.
In today’s case (Bramley v. Lee) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 T-bone collision. The Defendant admitted fault. The Plaintiff suffered a variety of injuries attributable to the crash, the most serious of which was a hip injury which continued to pose symptoms at the time of trial.
In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $80,000 Madam Justice Warren provided the following reasons:
 In summary, I make the following findings on causation and the current state of Mr. Bramley’s condition:
- Mr. Bramley sustained an injury to the greater trochanteric area of his right hip in the accident, which developed into trochanteric pain syndrome. He suffered from persistent, significant right hip pain until 2011, when the pain started to improve after the cortisone injection and the switch in medication to Vimovo. The hip pain continued to improve after Mr. Bramley began strengthening exercises in 2013, leaving him with lingering symptoms that he has learned to live with.
- Mr. Bramley suffered a soft tissue injury to his low back in the accident that initially resulted in significant low back pain extending into his right leg for several months, which gradually improved and ultimately resolved by early 2012.
- Mr. Bramley suffered acid reflux symptoms as a result of medications he took for his hip and low back pain, which plagued him for about a year, in 2010 to 2011, until he switched medications and began taking Vimovo.
- After the accident, the pain in Mr. Bramley’s hip began to interfere with his sleep. This became progressively worse and eventually developed into a sleep disturbance that left him fatigued by late 2009. There was no material improvement in his sleep until after the hip pain began to improve in 2011. By early 2012, Mr. Bramley’s sleep had returned to normal. Subsequently, Mr. Bramley suffered again from a significant sleep disturbance, but that was a result of sleep apnea and unrelated to the accident.
 Awards of damages in other cases provide a guideline only. Ultimately, each case turns on its own facts. However, considering the cases referred to me and, in particularMcKenzie, which was decided three years ago, and Foster, which was decided four years ago, as well as the factors discussed in Stapley, I assess Mr. Bramley’s non-pecuniary damages at $80,000.
Adding to this site’s archives addressing bus driver liability for injuries to passengers, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dealing with such an incident.
In this week’s case (Wong v. South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) the 81 year old plaintiff boarded a bus and was on her way to her seat when “the driver pulled into traffic in an abrupt motion“. The Plaintiff fell and the driver then “abruptly braked“. The Plaintiff’s hip was fractured in the incident.
Madam Justice Power found the bus driver was negligent in failing to wait until the elderly plaintiff was seated before accelerating. In finding the driver partly liable for the incident the Court provided the following reasons:
 In cross-examination, Mr. Pinnell conceded that “it was surprising” that Ms. Wong fell one foot from the fare box and that in the time prior to the fall, he never saw anyone coming down the aisle. He acknowledged that if he had seen Ms. Wong, he would have told her to sit down. He agreed that there is a policy and procedures manual for bus drivers and that there is a policy to allow elderly people a chance to sit before moving from a stopped location. He acknowledged that at examination for discovery he did not think such a policy was in place…
 In all of the circumstances of the case at bar, I am of the view that Mr. Pinnell breached the standard of care of a reasonably prudent bus driver by entering traffic without warning Ms. Wong that he was about to enter traffic and without doing an adequate visual check to ensure that Ms. Wong had returned to her seat or was securely standing. In so doing he was also in breach of the Operators Policy and Procedures Manual, para 6.11.
The Plaintiff’s fractured hip required surgical intervention. Despite having an ‘uneventful’ recovery she was left with permanent restrictions in mobility. The Court went on -to assess non-pecuniary damages at $90,000 before slightly reducing these for contributory negligence.
Adding to this site’s archived cases addressing hip fracture non pecuniary awards, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for such an injury.
In this week’s case (Dunn v. Lyon) the Plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle collision in 2008. The Defendant was fully at fault for the incident. The Plaintiff suffered from various orthopaedic injuries primarily involving her low back and hip. These went on to pose long term difficulties disabling her from her usual occupation as a server. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,0000 Madam Justice Baker provided the following reasons:
 No medical witness testified at trial and the language used to describe Ms. Dunn’s injuries in the clinical records and in the three expert reports is technical, but counsel agreed that the primary injury can be most briefly described as multiple pelvic fractures. The fractures and other injuries are summarized on page 4 of Ms. Bos’s report as follows:
– left superior and inferior pubic rami
– right pubic tubercle
– left sacral ala
– left L5 transverse process
– widening of the left SI joint
– displaced bony fragment in the left S3 sacra foramina
– right anterior acetabular rim fracture
– haematomata involving piriformis and iliopsoas muscles
 I infer that none of the fractures, although serious, involved significant displacement, as Dr. O’Brian decided surgery was not required. Ms. Dunn was admitted to an orthopedic ward for bed rest although permitted to sit up in a chair provided that she did not put weight on the left side of her pelvis. Her pain was treated with a variety of drugs, including Morphine with Gravol, Oxycodone and Tylenol…
 Not unexpectedly, Ms. Bos’s opinion is that Ms. Dunn does not have the capacity to work either as a waitress or a janitor due to limited standing tolerance, decreased walking speed and limited stooping/bending tolerance. Her primary limitation, according to Ms. Bos, is “standing/weight bearing tolerance”. Ms. Bos’s opinion is that Ms. Dunn would benefit from vocational testing and assistance with job search…
 Having considered the authorities referred to and comparing the situations of the plaintiffs in those cases to that of Ms. Dunn, I award $100,000 for non-pecuniary damages.
I have it on good authority that ICBC’s Low Velocity Impact Program is being largely scrapped. Instead of the conventional LVI denials for collisions with under $2,000 of vehicle damage, I am informed that ICBC will now only deny claims under the LVI policy in cases where vehicle damage is limited to “scuffs, scrapes or scratches“. Anything beyond this minimal paint damage will be adjusted on overall merits. I have not yet seen a written copy of this shift in policy but if I do I will be sure to share it here.
With this introduction out of the way, the latest judicial nail in the LVI coffin was released this week. In this week’s case (Midgley v. Nguyen) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2004 collision. He suffered various injuries and sued for damages. ICBC argued this was a Low Velocity Impact and that the plaintiff was not injured. Madam Justice Dardi soundly rejected this argument finding the Plaintiff suffered from a torn labru in his right hip along with psychological injuries. She assessed non-pecuniary damages at $110,000. In dismissing the LVI Defence the Court provided the following critical comments:
 The overarching submission of the defence was that “this was a nothing accident”. The tenor of the defence submission was that, since there was no damage to Mr. Midgley’s motor vehicle, he could not have sustained the damage he alleges in the 2004 Accident.
 There is no legal principle that holds that if a collision is not severely violent or if there is no significant damage to a motor vehicle, the individual seated within that vehicle at the time of the impact cannot have sustained injuries. The authorities clearly establish that, while the lack of vehicle damage may be a relevant consideration, the extent of the injuries suffered by a plaintiff is not to be measured by the severity of the force in a collision or the degree of the vehicle’s damage. Rather, the existence and extent of a plaintiff’s injuries is to be determined on the basis of the evidentiary record at trial: see Gordon v. Palmer (1993), 78 B.C.L.R. (2d) 236.
 As I referred to earlier, the defence led no opinion evidence to support the assertion that the force of the impact in this case was incapable of producing the injury alleged by Mr. Midgley. I accept Mr. Midgley’s evidence regarding his body position at the time of impact and that, as far as he was concerned, the collision was jarring. In any case, there is expert medical evidence, which I find persuasive, that supports the relationship between the 2004 Accident – and, in particular, Mr. Midgley’s body position at the time of impact – and the existence of his injuries.
 On the totality of the evidence, I am persuaded that Mr. Midgley sustained an injury in the 2004 Accident, in spite of the fact that his vehicle apparently was not damaged.
Update August 23, 2013 – An Appeal from the below decision was successful with the BC Court of Appeal ordering a new trial. Reasons from the BC Court of Appeal can be found here.
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for aggravation of pain due to pre-existing hip bursitis.
In this week’s case (McArthur v. Hudson) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 T-Bone collision caused when the Defendant failed to stop at a stop sign. Fault was admitted. The Plaintiff had significant pre-existing difficulties resulting in a total hip replacement. Following this the Plaintiff developed trochanteric bursitis.
He continued to have problems due to this and other complications of his pre-existing condition.
The collision caused an aggravation of the Plaintiff’s tronchanteric bursitis along with some soft tissue injuries. The court found that this aggravation ran its course by mid 2011. The Court further found that the balance of the Plaintiff’s lingering limitations were due to his pre-existing condition and not compensable. In assessing non-pecuniary damages for the aggravation at $40,000 Madam Justice Kloegman provided the following reasons:
The plaintiff must be compensated for losses due to an aggravation of bursitis in the lateral aspect of the trochanter which was substantially resolved by March 2011. The plaintiff must be compensated for losses incurred by him for a soft tissue injury to his shoulder that substantially resolved after about one month, and a soft tissue neck injury that substantially resolved by May 2011. Finally, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for headaches experienced until May 2011 and an aggravation of his depression due to the setback (perceived or otherwise) in his rehabilitation until November 2008.
The plaintiff is not entitled to compensation from the defendant resulting from post-surgical complications in his hip, such as sublaxating fascia lata, tight iliotibial band or weak abductor muscles. The plaintiff is not entitled to compensation from the defendant for his lower back issues which resulted from a previous injury and arthritis in the spine. The plaintiff is not entitled to compensation from the defendant for any neck injuries or headaches after May 2011…
Nonetheless, I am satisfied that the plaintiff endured a significant degree of pain, both physically and emotionally, from his Accident related injuries, and he is entitled to reasonable compensation for that. Given the plaintiff’s age, the nature and duration of his injuries, and the impact on his enjoyment of life, I am of the view that his damages should be set at $40,000 (Laroye v. Chung, 2007 BCSC 1478; Guilbault v. Purser, 2009 BCSC 188; and Carter v. Zhan, 2012 BCSC 595).
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for the triggering of arthritic symptoms in pre-existing asymptomatic degenerative joints.
In the recent case (Witt v. Vancovuer International Airport Authority) the Plaintiff was a fire-truck salesman. Chalking this up to the ‘you learn something everyday’ category, this is apparently a lucrative career with the Plaintiff earning approximately $740,000 per year. While at the Vancouver Airport the Plaintiff fell through metal plates “that were not secured by the long stakes that should have been used to secure the plates” creating “voids below the plates which allowed the plates to shift as vehicle traffic went over them“. The Defendant was found fully liable for the incident.
The fall triggered symptoms of pain in the Plaintiff’s back, knee and hip. He had pre-existing arthritis in these areas with the fall accelerating these conditions resulting in long-standing pain. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 Mr. Justice Burnyear provided the following reasons:
 Based on the conclusions reached by the medical experts, on the testimony of Mr. Witt and Ms. Witt, and on the testimony of those who knew him well, I conclude that Mr. Witt has considerable and continuing pain as a result of the Fall and that the pain that he has suffered has made his life less enjoyable. I find that his inability to walk long distances, his inability to enjoy golfing, hiking and tennis, and his reduced sleep and energy levels have come as a result of the Fall. I am satisfied that Mr. Witt should be compensated for that pain and suffering.
 Regarding the particular complaints of Mr. Witt, I make the following findings. I find that Mr. Witt now suffers from chronic pain as a result of the Fall. I also find that, as a result of the chronic pain, there have been negative changes to his disposition, a considerable reduction in his physical activity and capacity, and a significant negative effect on his marriage.
 Regarding the back pain experienced by Mr. Witt, I find that some but not all of the back pain experienced by Mr. Witt as a result of the Fall settled by the summer of 2010. However, I also find that he is now more susceptible to develop spinal stenosis as a result of the Fall.
 Regarding the right hip of Mr. Witt, I find that he continues to have severe pain from time to time and discomfort when sitting. As a result of the Fall, I find that osteoarthritis has become systematic and that this has become the case earlier than what would have occurred but for the Fall. While I find that there was a degree of degenerative spondylosis and arthritis prior to the Fall, I find that the Fall produced severe pain in the right hip that would not have been experienced by Mr. Witt but for the Fall and which has produced early onset of degenerative spondylosis and arthritis.
 As a result of the Fall, I find that the pain and weakness being experienced by Mr. Witt in his right knee has accelerated the existing degenerative arthritis so that Mr. Witt now requires surgery. I find that the presence of degenerative arthritis in the right knee of Mr. Witt was accelerated by the Fall…
 Taking into account the injuries caused by the negligence of the Defendants, the duration of the pain and suffering produced by the negligence, the likely future pain and suffering caused by the Fall, and by the early onset of arthritic problems caused by the Fall, I set the non-pecuniary damages available to Mr. Witt at $100,000.00.
The Court went on to note that the ongoing injuries and expected medical interventions will interfere with the Plaintiff’s career and assessed damages for diminished-earning capacity at $600,000.
Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a chronic hip soft tissue injury.
In last week’s case (Pisani v. Pearce) the Plaintiff was involved in a ‘significant‘ head on collision. Fault was admitted by the Defendant. The crash resulted in a non-specific soft tissue injury to the Plaintiff’s hip. The symptoms interfered with the Plaintiff’s physical lifestyle and were expected to linger indefinitely. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $80,000 Madam Justice Loo provided the following reasons:
 Ms. Pisani was injured in a significant head on collision. Her 2009 Mercedes C300 4Matic was written off. She sustained soft tissue injuries to her shoulder, neck, and back. She will likely suffer flare ups from time to time for the rest of her life. She now has problems with her hip that prevent her from enjoying activities she used to enjoy. There is no diagnosis for the problem with her hip, and there is little or no evidence that it will improve. Her relationship with her boyfriend and her friends has been adversely affected.
 Her social life and her extracurricular activities have been adversely affected. She has difficulty attending the mosque because sitting on the floor causes her pain. She cannot dance, play soccer, hike, ride her bicycle, or ski. Dancing has always played a big and important part of her life. Hopefully by carrying out Dr. Anton’s recommendations, she will improve her postural muscles and core stabilizers and may be able to resume most of her activities…
 In this case, Dr. Anton suggests that Ms. Pisani’s neck, shoulder, and lower back symptoms should hopefully improve with one on one training with a qualified kinesiologist. Dr. Anton also suggests that if Ms. Pisani fails to have a good response to the training, she may not be able to resume dancing. She will probably suffer flare ups of her injuries for the rest of her life. She is still only 23 years old. There is also no evidence that her hip problem will resolve.
 I conclude that a fair and reasonable award of non-pecuniary damages is $80,000.
In addition to the above, paragraphs 96-104 are worth reviewing for the Court’s discussion of damages for the Plaintiff’s delayed entry into the workforce as a result of her injuries.
Reasons for judgement were released yesterday by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for a hip injury sustained in a vehicle collision.
In yesterday’s case (Combs v. Moorman) the Plaintiff was involved in an “extensive” rear end collision in 2007. The Defendant was found wholly at fault for the crash. The Plaintiff, a 38 year old massage therapist, suffered a labral tear (a tear of the cartilage cushioning the hip socket).
This injury caused ongoing problems and needed future surgical intervention. It caused limits in the Plaintiff’s domestic and vocational abilities. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $90,000 Madam Justice Humphries provided the following reasons:
 Pain in her left hip is her primary concern presently. She says it is very painful and affects every treatment she gives. The pain makes her put her weight on her right leg, and consequently her right leg has begun to hurt as well. After an MRI, it was determined that she has a labral tear, that is a tear in the material cushioning her hip socket. A bone scan showed some tenderness on the left trochanter, that is the top of the femur.
 Dr. Smit, Ms. Combs’ treating orthopaedic surgeon, recommended freezing injections into the hip and the trochanter respectively as a diagnostic device to determine where the pain was coming from. That is, if one area were frozen and the pain continued, it would show that the source was the other area. Dr. Smit said the injections give temporary relief, but symptoms would return in 6 – 8 weeks. He said in “a distinct minority” of cases the pain does not return. Ms. Combs declined this procedure…
 Ms. Combs was a straightforward witness. She is obviously used to coping with life in a businesslike manner and does what she has to do. She works hard, runs a successful clinic, and looks after two children and the home with the help of her mother, her mother-in-law, and her husband.
 Ms. Combs suffered fairly extensive injuries in this accident, some of which are permanent. The hematoma in her knee and the damage to her finger, though not interfering with her activities, will not improve. She deals with daily neck, back and hip pain and has done so for four years. While surgery will likely improve her hip pain, it is not likely that her neck and back pain will resolve. Her prognosis is poor.
 She still works long hours, but only with pain, and foregoes activities she used to enjoy in order to work those hours. Her social life has been impacted because she is too tired to participate. She cannot sit up on the bed and read to her daughter because of her back pain…
 I am of the view that it would have been helpful for Ms. Combs to have the injections for diagnostic purposes and for temporary relief. Her failure to do so was unreasonable, but although some of her pain may have been relieved temporarily by this procedure and diagnosis of the source of the pain would likely have been facilitated, failure to undergo this procedure does not affect any long term outcome. Dr. Smit said the cases in which pain does not return after the injections are “a distinct minority”. In any event, Ms. Combs must still face hip surgery, and according to the medical evidence, delay in having the surgery does not affect its success rate. Her refusal to undergo months of recovery from surgery while running a busy practice and taking care of young children is simply a matter of weighing how much pain she could cope with and still carry on. I cannot see her refusal to have the surgery until now as unreasonable.
 Obviously each case has distinctive facts, and it is often difficult to reconcile them as awards for pain and suffering are inherently individual. The cases cited by the plaintiff involve considerably more severe and wide ranging symptoms that Ms. Combs has. The cases cited by the Third Party involve symptoms that resolved faster than Ms. Combs’ have. She is not a complainer, but four years post accident, she is still coping daily with its effects and now has to undergo the surgery and recovery time. The effect of the chance of the early onset of arthritis in the distant future is not great, given the scant evidence that it is likely to occur.
 Considering the evidence and the cases cited to me, I set non-pecuniary loss at $90,000.