Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a host of injuries resulting from a collision.\
In the recent case (Grewal v. Naumann) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2007 T Bone collision. The collision was significant and resulted in 3 broken ribs, a knee injury requiring surgical intervention and a variety of soft tissue injuries resulting in some chronic symptoms. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $110,000 Mr. Justice Masuhara provided the following reasons:
 My findings of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff from the Accident are:
(a) three fractured ribs two of which were comminuted, and internal injuries which physically healed by January 2008;
(b) chondromalacia patella and a small tear to the anterior horn of medial meniscus; which was repaired by surgery; there is some risk of arthritic degeneration but only slightly greater than the general population. The range of motion in his right knee has always been normal; though at times there has been the presence of fluid buildup which has never been assessed as more than minimal.
(c) soft tissue injuries to neck, right shoulder, lower back, right wrist and right ankle.
(d) chronic pain. While I find that there is chronicity to some of Mr. Grewal’s reported pain. I find that the pain is at the low end of the range.
(e) the recurrence of a major depression which is now in remission. Mr. Grewal had a pre-Accident history of depression, including major depression and that the Accident caused him to experience significant depression and anxiety. The Accident related depression arose in around June 2009 and became a major depression in April 2011, gradual improvement was occurring which by February 2013 no depression was detected and was deemed to be in remission by December 2013 where Mr. Grewal was found to be in a “happy stable state”. Mr. Grewal’s sleep was said to be “good” by September 2012. He has remained in remission since and that reducing his medications is a potential. Mr. Grewal however is at higher risk to suffer from recurrence of anxiety and depression as a result of the Accident.
 Based on my findings of Mr. Grewal’s injuries from the Accident including the likelihood of future effects, my view is that the defence cases cover injuries which are not as extensive as the plaintiff’s and that the injuries approximate closer to the cases handed up by the plaintiff. However, his depression continued for some time before going into remission; the knee injury and resulting surgery, and ongoing chronic pain (though at the low end) are factors which require added recognition.
 I assess damages at $110,000.
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, assessing damages for multiple rib fractures caused by a collision.
In today’s case (Bariesheff v. Bennett) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2011 rear end collision. Fault was admitted by the Defendant. The plaintiff “fractured five of her left lower ribs, more particularly the 8th to the 12th rib of the left chest wall, for which the defendant has accepted responsibility.“.
The Plaintiff alleged the crash caused a chronic low back injury as well although this was rejected by the Court. In assessing damages for the rib injuries at $25,000 Mr. Justice Cole provided the following reasons:
 The following cases provide a range of between $15,000 and $35,000 for general damages: Sinnott v. Boggs, 2007 BCCA 267; Kapelus v. Hu, 2013 BCCA 86; Mak v. Eichel, 2008 BCSC 1102; Sun v. Sukhan, 2012 BCSC 365; Currie v. McKinnon, 2012 BCSC 698; De Abreu v. Huang, 2013 BCSC 398.
 I have taken into account the relatively young age of the plaintiff, the fact that she missed her graduating ceremonies to a great extent, which was an important event of her life, and that the pain, though essentially gone, persisted for about three years and is still tender to the touch. I am satisfied that an appropriate award for general damages is $25,000.
Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for multiple, complex, orthopaedic injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision.
In last week’s case (Tompkins v. Bruce) the Plaintiff was injured in a serious 2006 collision which was caused when the Defendant, who had been drinking and was driving while over the legal limit, crossed the centre line and collided with the Plaintiff’s vehicle. The Defendant was found fully at fault for the crash.
The Plaintiff suffered multiple injuries including rib fractures with a collapsed lung, a left hip fracture, a fractured femur and a fractured patella. These injuries required surgical intervention. The Plaintiff had a total hip replacement and likely needed a total knee replacement in the future.
The Plaintiff was a plumber and gas fitter and was rendered totally, permanently disabled from his own occupation. He was left with a minimal residual earning capacity. In assessing non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) at $200,000 Mr. Justice Curtis provided the following reasons:
 Wayne Tompkins was 50 years old, living in Pemberton and happily employed as a tradesman when the June 3, 2006 collision occurred. As a result of the injuries suffered by Mr. Tompkins which were caused by the negligent and criminally irresponsible driving of Tawnya Ley Bruce, Mr. Tompkins’ life has been permanently and very significantly altered.
 He has lost his ability to work in his trade at employment he enjoyed. He has lost a great deal of his mobility and cannot enjoy activities such as skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, slow pitch, tennis and similar activities as he once did. He cannot stand or sit for long periods of time. His mood is depressed and his anger harms his relationship with other people ? particularly in the case of Nancy Larkin, his romantic partner after the accident who left him largely because of his anger and irritability. In addition, Mr. Tompkins now faces the prospect of further surgeries, such as two knee replacements, another hip replacement, the prospect that the condition of his knees and hip may get worse ? and that each surgery comes with a risk of loss of function, dangerous embolisms, scar tissue, long recovery periods and possible poor results.
 On the other hand, Mr. Tompkins is an intelligent man whose depression and anger can quite likely be treated and improved. He now has his own home in Chilliwack where he lives with his dog close to his sons and grandson. He is capable of driving his car, at least as far as Chilliwack to Whistler. There is a good chance that continued physical training will maintain his strength and may well improve his mobility and flexibility ? he has been capable of walking without a cane in the past, and even of lifting Nancy Larkin who weighs 115 pounds from her wheelchair into a car and it is not unlikely that his condition may again reach that level. He did own and operate a boat after the accident and could again, and fishing is still possible. While his trade work as he once did it is no longer open to him, there is the possibility he may find rewarding employment in some other field…
 Mr. Tompkins has been particularly unfortunate in having three major joints ? both knees and his left hip damaged in the collision. Those injuries are permanent and the condition of those joints likely to get worse. Considering that and his altered mood and other injuries, I find the sum of $200,000 a fair and reasonable amount for non pecuniary damages.
If two or more events cause a single “indivisible injury” a Defendant who in part contributes to the injury can be held accountable for the entire loss. This legal principle was concisely summarized in reasons for judgement released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry.
In last week’s case (Estable v. New) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2003 motor vehicle collision. She suffered previous and subsequent trauma. The Court found that while not the sole cause, the collision was a cause of the Plaintiff’s various soft tissue injuries. The Plaintiff was compensated for these and in doing so Madam Justice Gropper provided the following short and helpful summary of the law of indivisible injury compensation:
 Divisible injuries are those which are capable of being separated out, such as injuries to different body parts or injuries to which the defendant has not contributed: Bradley, at para. 20; see also Athey, at paras. 22-25. Whether damage derived from multiple sources is divisible for the purpose of determining the extent of the liability of one defendant is a question of fact: Hutchings v. Dow, 2007 BCCA 148 at para. 13.
 If the injuries are divisible, the devaluation approach from Long v. Thiessen (1968), 65 W.W.R. 577 at 591 (B.C.C.A) is the appropriate method for determining the amount of damages that can be attributed to the defendant. This was discussed in Bradley at para. 33:
 The approach to apportionment in Long v. Thiessen is therefore no longer applicable to indivisible injuries. The reason is that Long v. Thiessen pre-supposes divisibility: Long requires courts to take a single injury and divide it up into constituent causes or points in time, and assess damages twice; once on the day before the second tort, and once at trial. Each defendant is responsible only for their share of the injury and the plaintiff can recover only the appropriate portion from each tortfeasor.
[emphasis in original]
 Indivisible injuries are those that cannot be separated, such as aggravation or exacerbation of an earlier injury, an injury to the same area of the body, or global symptoms that are impossible to separate: Bradley, at para. 20; see also Athey, at paras. 22-25.
 If the injuries are indivisible, the court must apply the “but for” test in respect of the defendant’s act. Even though there may be several tortuous or non-tortuous causes of injury, so long as the defendant’s act is a cause, the defendant is fully liable for that damage: Bradley, at paras. 32-37; see also Resurfice Corp. v. Hanke, 2007 SCC 7 at paras. 19-23.
In assessing the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages at $30,000 the Court made the following findings with respect to her injuries:
 I find that Ms. Estable’s remaining complaints were aggravated or exacerbated by the October 2003 injuries. These complaints include: pain in her neck, pain in her left and low back, and pain in her left anterior shoulder. They also include the injury to her sternum, although I find, based on the medical evidence, that this injury was a soft tissue injury and not a fracture.
 Applying the principles from Bradley, Ms. Estable has a claim against Mr. New for these complaints because they are indivisible; Mr. New’s negligence aggravated or exacerbated those injuries. While the post accident injury producing events may also have had a similar effect, Ms. Estable can recover her damages entirely from Mr. New. There may be other tortfeasers who are jointly liable, but Mr. New’s right to apportionment among them does not affect Ms. Estable’s right to claim the entire amount from him…
 Applying the enumerated factors, Ms. Estable is now 56 years old. She suffered soft tissue injuries of the cervical and lumbar spine and to the left shoulder. She suffered a chest contusion and the possibility of sternal fractures or rib fractures. Her injuries have caused her to change her lifestyle; she is unable to engage in performance art or yoga…
 I assess Ms. Estable’s non-pecuniary damages at $30,000.