$30,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for “Persistent, Enduring But Minor” Neck Injury

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for a relatively modest neck injury arising from a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Chapman v. Zilm) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2016 intersection collision.  It was described as ‘low impact’.   The Defendant was found fully at fault for the crash. The impact caused a neck injury to the plaintiff which the court found was ‘persistent, enduring but thankfully quite minor‘ in its lingering consequences.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $30,000 Mr. Justice Baird provided the the following reasons:

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$90,000 Non Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic, Partly Limiting Soft Tissue Injuries

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries following a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Lewis v. Wang) the Plaintiff was involved in an intersection collision in 2014.  The Defendant denied fault until shortly before trial .

The Court accepted the collision caused chronic soft tissue injuries which were expected to continue into the future and were partly limiting.  The Defendant called medical evidence minimizing the collison’s connections to the injuries but this was rejected.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $90,000 Mr. Justice Macintosh provided the following reasons:

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$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Mild/Moderate Soft Tissue Injuries With Resulting Chronic Pain

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries as a result of a motor vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Dueck v. Lee) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2016 collision which the Defendant admitted fault for.  The crash resulted in mild/moderate soft tissue injuries some of which lingered and led to chronic pain.   The prognosis for full recovery was poor.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Giaschi made the following findings and provided the following reasons:

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$90,000 Non Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic and Partly Disabling Soft Tissue Injuries

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries with a poor prognosis for recovery.

In today’s case (Sen-Laurenz v. Napoli) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2014 collision which the Defendant accepted fault for.  The Plaintiff was described as a “highly motivated and at that time physically fit 20-year-old plaintiff was attending Capilano University in North Vancouver and was in the early stages of pursuing her career goal to become a medical doctor. “.  The crash resulted in chronic soft tissue injuries which did not fully recover.  The residual symptoms were expected to be present indefinitely.  The injuries impeded her education and delayed her entry into medical school.  In assessing non pecuniary damages at $90,000 Mr. Justice Walker provided the following reasons:

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$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries With Guarded Prognosis

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a cyclist injured in a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Wang v. Johal) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2014 vehicle collision.  The Defendant struck the left side of her body and knocking her from her bicycle onto the pavement.  Fault was admitted.  The crash resulted in chronic soft tissue injuries to her leg and low back.  There was some room for further improvement but the prognosis was generally guarded.

In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Mayer provided the following reasons:

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$65,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Likely “Indefinite” Neck and Back Injury

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for long lasting soft tissue injuries.

In today’s case (Poulin v. Armstrong) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2013 collision.  She was a passenger at the time and was 14 years of age.  The Defendant admitted fault.  The crash caused soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back which became chronic and were expected to linger indefinitely.

In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $65,000

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$70,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Partly Limiting Chronic Pain

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic pain with partial limitations arising from a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Rabiei v. Oster) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2016 collision.  The Defendants accepted fault.  The crash resulted in various soft tissue injuries resulting in chronic pain in the plaintiff’s neck, back and shoulder.  These injuries resulted in some impairment in the Plaintiff’s ability to work and also impacted activities outside work.  Full recovery was not expected.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $70, 000 Madam Justice Adair provided the following reasons:

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$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 for persistent soft tissue injuries.

In today’s case (Stapleton v. Andrew) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2015 intersection collision.  The Defendant accepted fault.  The crash caused soft tissue injuries which lingered to the time of trial and were not expected to experience significant improvement in the future.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 Mr. Justice Skolrood provided the following reasons:

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$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Soft Tissue Injuries with Persistent Flare Ups

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for persistent soft tissue injuries with frequent flare ups.
In today’s case (Palmer v. Ansari-Hamedani) the Plaintiff was involved in two collisions with the Defendants accepting fault.  The first crash was relatively minor with injuries well on their way to recovery by the time of the second crash.  The second collision caused persistent soft tissue injuries which continued to the time of trial and often flared up with various activities.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Madam Justice Morellato provided the following reasons:

[86]         In conclusion, I find that Ms. Palmer’s suffered from the following symptoms in the months following the Second Accident: mental “fogginess”; nausea, dizziness, balance issues; ringing in ears, a bump on back of the head, bruising in swelling in the forearm and overwhelming nerve tenderness in the forearm.  I find that these symptoms had substantially resolved by the time she returned to full-time work at Dr. McDougall’s office in February of 2013.  Other related symptoms, however, persisted as described below.

[87]         Ms. Palmer’s soft tissue injuries to her neck and back have persisted for some time; however, I find that by the time she saw Dr. Pascoe in May of 2017, Ms. Palmer had substantially recovered from these injuries.  However, I find that she continues to suffer “flare-ups” as recognized by Dr. Pascoe in her August 2017 reporting letter.  Further, as noted above, I also accept that the flare-ups in her neck and back cause occasional headaches, some of which are migraine headaches but these are less frequent.

[88]         The evidence before me has not established, on a balance of probabilities, that Ms. Palmer suffers cognitive deficits or permanent brain damage from her Second Accident.  Nor am I satisfied that her Second Accident affected or compromised her ability to retrain or attend to further educational pursuits.

[89]         I find that while the injury to Ms. Palmer’s right shoulder and arm is not symptomatic on a daily basis, the injury has not yet resolved and continues to cause her pain and discomfort.  She suffers pain and numbness in her arm when her arm is tired or she holds her forearm and hand in flexed or extended positions.  I am also satisfied on the evidence before me that Ms. Palmer suffers flare-ups of pain in her shoulder area.


[94]         I have also considered the cases counsel have drawn my attention to as well as the related case law: see e.g.  Cleeve v. Gregerson et al, 2007 BCSC 1112 [Cleeve]; Senger v. Graham, 2018 BCSC 257; Knight v. Belton, 2010 BCSC 1305.  In this light, and having regard to the specific circumstance before me, I am of the view that an award of $85,000 is fair and reasonable.

$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Neck Pain and Headaches

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for chronic neck pain and headaches following two vehicle collisions.
In the recent cast (McCully v. Moss) the Plaintiff was involved in two separate collisions with the Defendants accepting fault for both.  The collisions caused a neck injury with associated headaches which continued to the time of trial.  The symptoms were expected to continue and flare with heavier household and vocational duties.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Madam Justice Devlin provided the following reasons:

[99]         Ms. McCully is 66 years-old and she suffers some limitation and restriction as a result of her persistent neck pain and headaches caused by the accidents. However, I do not agree that the injuries have a profound or life altering affect on Ms. McCully. I do find that she continues and will continue to experience some pain and discomfort and the medical experts confirm this. Although the medical evidence does not foreclose the possibility that she can increase her work hours or certain activity levels, I find that even where she does attempt these pre-accident activities, her injuries would increase her discomfort and pain.

[100]     While she is able to continue to work as an esthetician, she does experience discomfort if she exceeds working for a comfortable amount of time. Fortunately for her, her schedule is flexible and ultimately she is the one who will determine when she will work and for how long. While she may resort to the use of the TENS machine at the end of a long day to deal with the discomfort in her neck, she appears to be pleased to be able to continue to work for and service her clients.

[101]     I note that she has also returned to playing bridge a few times per week and has participated in a bridge tournament over the weekend albeit with the assistance of her pain medication. Participating in these bridge games is particularly important for Ms. McCully as it provides her an opportunity to engage socially. She continues to engage with her family and while she does not take her grandchildren to the pool she does babysit them at her residence. In a similar vein as Buckle, I note that Ms. McCully’s injuries restrict her from engaging in her domestic and work activities with the same energy and ability she had before the accidents. However, as I discussed earlier, despite having the chronic neck pain and headaches she continues to travel and has done so since shortly after the accidents.

[102]     In the following reasons, I will specifically address the parties’ arguments in relation to a segregated loss of housekeeping capacity damages. However, as I will re-state below, the impact of Ms. McCully’s injuries on her ability to perform household tasks informs my assessment of her non-pecuniary damages. I note also that she keeps a fairly large 2,900 sq. ft. house on a 12,000 sq. ft. lot. Overtime I find that Ms. McCully has been able to do some light housekeeping although she cannot do some of the more physically demanding tasks. Additionally, it is clear that she is more limited in performing yard maintenance.

[103]     There is no doubt that her neck pain and headaches have and will continue to have an impact on Ms. McCully in every aspect of her life to varying degrees. I am satisfied that Ms. McCully is entitled to compensation for the impact the injuries have had on her general well-being.

[104]     Having reviewed the cases provided by both parties, I assess Ms. McCully’s non-pecuniary damages at $85,000.

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If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

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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